5 questions after the Devils' relatively quiet trade deadline day

March 2, 2015 - The Star Ledger - View Full Article

Dealing Marek Zidlicky to Detroit was Monday's lone move

NEWARKDevils general manager Lou Lamoriello said he tried to make more than one trade before Monday's deadline, but in the end the only deal he could pull off was sending defenseman Marek Zidlicky to the Detroit Red Wings for a conditional third-round draft pick.

Overall, Lamoriello traded Zidlicky and Jaromir Jagr for three draft picks that could turn out to be four if the Red Wings reach the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.

So here are 5 questions as the Devils move forward:

1. Will they have to deal with an unhappy Michael Ryder and Martin Havlat since they weren't traded?

"I can't control that. They're professionals," Lamoriello said. "There's not much I can do about that. We'll do everything we can to do what's right by the team first. They're aware of that. We're going to do what's best for the team.

"We're here to win right now. Anybody who feels other than that, I can't help their thoughts."

2. Why weren't they traded, even for a late-round draft pick?

Lamoriello had a mysterious answer to that question: "There is a reason for not doing that. I'm sure in the near future you will see why and why not."

The Devils could sign Scott Gomez, Steve Bernier and Jordin Tootoo to prevent them from becoming unrestricted free agents. But if that is the reason those three weren't traded, it doesn't address why Ryder and/or Havlat were not moved.

3.How will he use the draft picks?

"If you look at the number of picks we have right now between this year and next year, that's going to give us the ability to (address) the forward situation," Lamoriello said.

4. Was it difficult to trade Zidlicky?

"It was," Lamoriello acknowledged. "We all have tremendous respect for Marek. I will tell you, all I could make him aware of are the team or teams that were potentially interested in him. I can tell you there were certainly better situations as far as from the New Jersey Devils' end of it. But Marek had his choice. He could have declined. That was his prerogative. It comes down to his final decision."

Lamoriello would not reveal which teams Zidlicky had on his list.

5. Isn't it time to bring up some players from Albany (AHL) for the rest of the way?

That may happen, but Lamoriello insisted he wasn't giving up hope of making the playoffs.

Rich Chere may be reached at rchere@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @Ledger_NJDevils. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

 




GM Lou Lamoriello admits Devils could have gotten more for Marek Zidlicky

March 2, 2015 - The Star Ledger - View Full Article

Does he blame defenseman for using his no-trade clause as leverage?

NEWARK — The Devils could have gotten more for Marek Zidlicky, Devils GM Lou Lamoriello said, but the defenseman was in control of where he wanted to go because he has a no-trade clause in hsi contract.

Consequently, the Devils chose to send Zidlicky to the Detroit Red Wings for a conditional third-round draft pick.

"He was aware of the teams that were interested in him. When he has the choice, you then can only make the best transaction that is available," Lamoriello said Tuesday on a conference call with reporters. "There were other deals out there, yes, if that were place Marek wanted to go.

"Were there better deals? Certainly. Were there worse deals? Certainly. But in no way did Marek hold the New Jersey Devils up or did the New Jersey Devils hold him up. This is a right he has."

The Zidlicky deal was the only one Lamoriello made on deadline day.

Why did he not trade Michael Ryder, Martin Havlat, Scott Gomez or Steve Bernier?

"There is a reason for not doing that. I'm sure in the near future you will see why and why not," Lamoriello said.

Lamoriello said he did try to make other trades, but couldn't put anything together.

"We did try to do several things. We weren't able to get done some of the things we hoped to," he explained. "It was a combination of both maybe trying to move a player and add something to it to get a certain type of player."

After trading Jaromir Jar to the Florida Panthers on Thursday, Lamoriello insisted it didn't mean the Devils were giving up in the playoff race.

But the Zidlicky deal looks like they have lost hope.

"Under no set of circumstances. If that were the case, you would've seen several other players go today. Obviously that did not happen," Lamoriello said.

"I don't feel that way. The reason this type of trade could be done is because (Damon) Severson is ready to play. We all know the minutes he had earlier in the year both on the power play and in other situations. The emergence of Adam Larsson and the type of minutes he's taking, and both right shots, that was the impetus to do this.

"You have to make sometimes these decisions. If these players had not proven that they could play and that they were ready for the minutes they'd be getting, you wouldn't do this. Also, it's the opportunity to get a second pick."

Severson said Monday he had been ruled out of Tuesday night's game against the Nashville Predators, but Lamoriello spoke differently.

"That will be a question mark. We'll see how he is in the morning. We'll see how he feels and we'll see where he's at," the GM said. "I'll talk to Scotty (Stevens) and see where his thought are at. It will be three weeks tomorrow."

Rich Chere may be reached at rchere@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @Ledger_NJDevils. Find NJ.com on Facebook.