Adam Henrique will now be a New Jersey Devil for the next six years. It only cost the team $24 million over the life of the deal. With the newly made salary cap space from the defection of Ilya Kovalchuk, locking this guy down for the next six years is the perfect way to use it.
This is a win-win situation for both parties. Henrique wanted to get paid and the Devils wanted their player back at a reasonable price.
I feel like this was a deal for the team, but it depends how you look at Henrique as a player. Do you look at him as Travis Zajac‘s backup or as a top line guy? The premium on him as a player is the clutch nature of his play. As with every long-term contract, there are some risks. He is coming off an injury, albeit a fluke one. He regressed last season exponentially, and he didn’t seem to play as well minus Zach Parise and Kovalchuk.
That isn’t going to be a problem. Most rookies need a little push to really get going in the NHL. Henrique got that push in his first season. What most people don’t understand is in his rookie season playoffs, most of his time was not spent on the top line as Zajac had returned from injury. He showed he could play with anyone and continue to excel.
Lou Lamoriello knew he didn’t want this hanging over the team’s season and he got it done. He is trying to show that he is willing to pay his homegrown stars, obviously showing that after the David Clarkson and Parise departures. With Zajac last year and Henrique this year he is preparing to take the Devils in a new direction. He brought in an influx of talent over the next few seasons with Ryane Clowe and Michael Ryder. Every day this team seems to look better.