Sorry about this post being a little behind, I have been away helping my brother move he and his family’s belongings from New Jersey to Arizona. We just completed a cross-country drive in two days all while going on just about four hours sleep. So I’m here in Phoenix, Arizona writing this after free agency hit yesterday.
And the Devils made a mid-level move and three relatively minor moves in free agency, as Ray Shero continues to build mostly through the Draft and trades.
The big get for the Devils was former Flyer and Predator winger Wayne Simmonds. While some fans may be concerned about the mileage on Simmonds’ body and the wear and tear that his game tends to bring to him, the deal was only for one year. He signed a one-year deal worth $5,000,000 according to the Devils’ press release.
The 30-year-old Simmonds was a fan favorite in Philly for his scrappy style of play. He notched 17 goals and 13 assists (30 points) last season for the Flyers and Nashville. He also had 99 penalty minutes. Overall, he has 243 goals and 231 assists (474 points) over 841 regular season games for the Kings, Flyers and Preds. He also has eight goals and 13 assists (21 points) in 44 playoff games. He also played in the 2017 All-Star game, representing the Flyers and the Metro Division in LA.
The native of Scarborough, Ontario won the Mark Messier Leadership Award at this year’s NHL Awards for being a player who is a superior leader and a contributing member of society.
He represented Canada internationally at the World Championship in 2013 and 2017, winning silver in 2017. He played in the 2008 World Junior Championship as a 20-year-old, winning gold. He played junior hockey in the OHL with the Owen Sound Attack and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds before being drafted by the Kings 61st overall, second round in 2007.
In addition to this signing, the Devils also signed three other players to two-way contracts, including defenseman Dakota Mermis from the Coyotes system, defenseman Matt Tennyson from the Sabres organization and forward Ben Street from Anaheim.
For Mermis, 25, this is a one-year, two-way contract which is worth $700,000 at the NHL level and $200,000 in the AHL. He will have $250,000 guaranteed. Tennyson, 29, inked a two-year, two-way contract worth a guaranteed $400,000 with $700,000 going to him at the NHL level and $350,000 in Binghamton. Street’s one-year, two-way contract is worth $750,000 in the NHL and $425,000 in the AHL. He is 32-years-old.
So the Devils get some depth without making too many risky moves that teams are prone to in free agency. This big guy here is obviously Simmonds and he is only signed to a one-year deal, so it’s not too bad if it does not work out. We will see how this move pays off, but remember that in the meantime, Ray can still make trades if possible, so this may not be the final piece the Devils add this summer.