The New Jersey Devils were trying to work something out so that they were not going to lose Alexander Urbom.
They had to put Patrik Elias and Mattias Tedenby on injured reserve to remain within the 23-man roster limit. Lou Lamoriello did that so that other teams could get their rosters set and he could sneak one of his players through waivers without getting snagged. It did not work. The Washington Capitals and former Devils’ coach Adam Oates claimed Urbom off waivers today.
Volchenkov signed a 6-year, $25.5 million contract back in 2010. He is signed through the 2015-16 season with a cap hit of $4.25 million per season. Bring up this contract to most Devils fans, and you will see true anger.
Volchenkov has given some good things to this team. He is a defensive defenseman, just like Urbom. His presence, along with Bryce Salvador and Mark Fayne, made it so that Urbom did not have a spot on this team at this time. He would play in the AHL and everything would be great until he was needed, at which point the team would then call him up. Again, it did not work out that way.
Should the Devils have used their amnesty buyout on Volchenkov with Urbom already waiting? There is no doubt that he isn’t worth the money he received, and that he has regressed in the last year. It is understandable that you would want to give a guy a bye for last season because of the lockout, but Volchenkov is only going to get slower. He was a healthy scratch candidate every night. Is that something you want to continue to pay $4.25 million a year for?
Maybe it has to do with the new ownership not wanting to spend the money for a player who isn’t playing for them. Now a top prospect is playing for a new division rival. The Devils and Lamoriello need to learn from this and never let a top prospect go for nothing again.