If there are two New Jersey Devils who should retire from the organization wearing red and black and eventually have their jerseys raised to the rafters, they are Martin Brodeur and Patrik Elias. Brodeur still has a year to go on a two-year deal he signed last summer, but Elias is at the end of his seven-year, $42 million contract.
Elias has said very little over the summer, preferring to keep the negotiations close to the vest and out of the newspaper which is a policy General Manager Lou Lamoriello favors as well. The Czech native has said many times during the season that he enjoys the organization as well as the Garden State and wants to remain in the area.
It seems as though he will get his wish. According to reports in the Star Ledger as well as on Tom Gulitti’s Fire and Ice Blog, Elias and the Devils are close to finalizing a deal with a few minor points left to hammer out. These details are not thought to be deal breakers which means the 37-year-old center will most likely play out the remainder of his career right where it started which is fitting.
Elias is the ultimate professional on and off the ice. He has proven time and time again that he is one of the top players in the NHL which is why he is worth the money. The aging center still has a lot to offer the team and brings it every game.
Defenseman Peter Harrold, who was also set to become an unrestricted free agent when the bell rings on free agency at noon Friday when the dust clears on the annual Fourth of July fireworks, is another story. He has signed a two-year deal for $1.6 million. The 30-year-old blueliner was often a victim of numbers last season, playing in only 23 games for the club, scoring two goals and netting three assists.
Harrold is a decent enough defender, but given the fact that the Devils have not made the playoffs for two of the past three seasons, it is time for a change. While his salary isn’t excessive, why not put the money toward a higher quality blueliner who can make a difference?
Lamoriello has been kind of quiet when it comes to free agent signings since the whole Ilya Kovalchuk fiasco. It’s time to get back into the game.