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A Look At The Devils’ Trade Pieces

The New Jersey Devils, usually buyers during the trade deadline, will become sellers this season. It hurts fans to admit it, but there’s little chance this team can put together an effort necessary to reach the playoffs.

With the Devils virtually out of the race, the team should look to deal players. Veterans can easily turn into young players, cap room and draft picks. While these don’t sound like desirable options, the organization needs to shed some of their older players. They need the cap space to sign future players, and they’ve been gutted of draft picks.

The Devils won’t get ripped off in trades. They’re not giving players away for free. And teams won’t take the underachievers (sorry, no Brian Rolston dumps). With those thoughts in mind, here are my trade chips for the Devils:

Patrik Elias remains one of the most intriguing Devils' trade pieces this season. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

1. Patrik Elias (Eight goals, 18 assists, minus-11)

I’m sure Lamoriello will field calls about the availability of Elias. He’s been the best Devil so far this season, and he finally looks healthy. He’s put up 26 points while the rest of the offense has failed, and he may be the only Devil to crack the 40-point plateau. While fans wouldn’t want to see Elias go, he’s the best trade chip the Devils have. He could easily become a top-six forward for another team and contribute on their powerplay.

It would be tough to see Elias play in another uniform, but as I said above, he’s the best of the bunch. The one hangup for interested teams? Elias’ $6 million cap hit for the next three seasons. That would be a tremendous amount of money to take on during the deadline. But we’ve seen it done before, and it could be done again. While I don’t think Elias will be traded, he stands as the Devil who could generate the most interest.

2. Jamie Langenbrunner (Four goals, 14 assists, minus-14)

The Devils’ captain seems to already have one foot out the door. In recent weeks, he’s commented on the possibility of being traded. He told Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record he expected to be asked to waive his no-trade clause. We all know about his feud with Jacques Lemaire last year, so you have to wonder if that plays into any trade decision.

There were some rumors of Langenbrunner to Colorado trade in September, but it never materialized into serious discussions. Like most of his teammates, the Devils captain is going through a terrible offensive slump. His play of late has picked up, which is convenient for New Jersey. If traded, the Devils would shed $2.8 million, and it’s not a terrible cap hit for another team to absorb. He’s an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year, and his no-trade clause could kill any deal. If teams buy into Langenbrunner’s potential, the Devils may find a taker.

3. Jason Arnott (Nine goals, 11 assists, minus-12)

Arnott presents another moveable piece on the Devils roster. Like his teammates, he hasn’t lived up to expectations, and his nine goals are nowhere near his potential. Acquiring Arnott would give another team a solid second-line center with a big shot.

Once again, the cap hit could be an issue. Arnott is due $4.5 million this season, but the Devils have already picked up most of that tab. For a second-line center who can man the point on the powerplay, Arnott could be intriguing to several teams.

Continue reading for the rest of the post!

4. Andy Greene (Two goals, nine assists, minus-23)

The Devils had such high expectations for Greene this season. After compiling a career-high 37 points last season, New Jersey thought they had their offensive defenseman. They thought so highly of him the organization let Paul Martin leave via free agency.

Well weren’t they wrong. Greene hasn’t come close to the expectations for him this season. He hasn’t scored with consistency, and he’s ineffective at the point. Clearly, he wasn’t made to be the offensive defenseman. But he could add depth to a contending team. If placed on the second or third defensive pair, he could flourish. Greene has one-year remaining on his contract at a $737,500 cap hit. He could be an inexpensive, depth pickup for contenders.

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There are always players on the move that no one expects. However, I don’t see the Devils trading away Martin Brodeur or another established veteran. Many of these players are undesirable to other teams. The dream of trading Rolston is dead, so that’s a non-factor as well. I believe the four players mentioned above are the most likely players to be moved.

Just a disclaimer – I am in no way trying to stir up trade rumors or create speculation. Rather, I’m providing my point of view on the topic.

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For my preview of tonight’s game between the Minnesota Wild and the Devils, check out SB Nation New York.

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