Dainius Zubrus was one of the quieter re-signings of the New Jersey Devils‘ offseason. He is one of those players that even Devils fans forget is there. You rarely ever see people with Zubrus jerseys at home games. They don’t even really have those T-shirts with his name on it.
This is especially surprising for a fan base that tries to explain their love for every player. This is coming from the team that had a fourth line become a major story in their Stanley Cup run. They have a player who has been with the team since 2007-08 and isn’t looked at with the same resolve as a Bobby Holik.
Zubrus has always been the perfect Devil. He isn’t very offensive, but he is a great two-way player. He can more than hold his own on the defensive side. He never says a thing about his ice time or where he is in the lineup. He always keeps to himself. The only controversy he has been a part of with this organization was when Claude Giroux hit him in the head in the playoffs.
This season has been very good to Zubrus. He spent the first part of it as the “extra player” on the old guy line with Jaromir Jagr and Patrik Elias. He always found a way to either get a good pass across or be in the right place to smack a goal home. He has been crucial in keeping that line together, whether it is Elias on it or Travis Zajac playing center. You would never think of him as a first line guy, but he has played like it this season.
He is a great value, making around $3.4 million over his time with the team. Even though he had to wait until his contract ended, he still only talked about re-signing with the Devils.
This season Zubrus is third on the team in points. He leads the team in plus/minus with a +12. His seven goals are tied with Elias and is only behind Jagr on the team. He is getting all these points without being on the power play. He gets his 6-foot-5 body into lanes and causes problems for opposing defenses.
This may have been a quiet signing for the Devils, but it was one of the best. He may be getting up there in age, but Zubrus is still a pivotal player for this squad. Thank goodness he signed because this season could have been even worse had he left in free agency.
Nick Villano is the New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports. He also adds to their NBA, MLB and NFL content. You can follow him on Twitter to get more information on all sports.