New Jersey Devils General Manger Ray Shero has a busy NHL Trade Deadline day.
The movement started earlier this morning when Gelinas was dealt to the Colorado Avalanche in return for a 2017 third round draft pick. It has been obvious that the relationship between the Devils and Gelinas was deteriorating. The 24-year old had been in the coach’s dog house, causing him to get scratched for the previous nine games.
Gelinas made it clear that he was unhappy with his role team. With big size and a good shot, Gelinas could never put it all together with the Devils. Trading Gelinas clears up $1.5 million dollars off of the salary cap.
Next, the Devils traded Forward Lee Stempniak to Boston for 2016 third and 2017 second round draft picks. Stempniak had previously been on seven teams coming into the 2015-2016 NHL season. The 33-year-old veteran made the Devils on a professional tryout contract. Through 63 games played, Stempniak totaled 41 points.
Getting two draft picks for a veteran like Stempniak could be very valuable as the Devils are clearly looking towards the future. The Bruins are receiving a crafty veteran who could be plugged in as a top nine forward and help Boston as they gear up for the playoffs.
Two trades were not enough for General Manager Ray Shero. The Devils also traded forward Stefan Matteau to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for forward Devante Smith-Pelly.
Matteau was the Devils first round draft pick in 2012. The son of former New York Rangers’ hero and Devil-killer Stèphane Matteau could never find his stride with the pro club in New Jersey. Maybe the Devils gave up him a little early as he is only 22. However, he was not drafted by Ray Shero and this new Devils regime.
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) February 29, 2016
With the Trade Deadline coming and going, the New Jersey Devils showed that the team is in a rebuild mode.
The Devils received three draft picks today in return of their trades. In today’s NHL, draft picks are more valuable than ever, and the Devils are stockpiling picks for the future.
Trading Gelinas frees up cap space to sign free agents this summer. Acquiring Smith-Pelly can help add grit to this team as he is only 23-years old. With the right coaching, Smith-Pelly could finally live up to his potential.
Time will only tell, but Shero showed today that he is willing to make moves that put the Devils on the right track to contend in the near future.