The New Jersey Devils are an up and coming team. They are going to be built around two kids by the name of Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier. What GM, Tom Fitzgerald needs to do, is ensure he’s getting all the right pieces for his two future stars.
How does one do that quickly?
Obviously by drafting quality prospects. Which the Devils continue to do with the selection of Alexander Holtz in 2020. They also have to make the right moves on the free agent market and use older assets as well.
A PK Subban trade would be wise
When you look at the Devils, PK Subban is their star. People in the hockey world know just how good he is but does he fit the rebuild? The 31 year-old rearguard struggled last season with just 18 points in 68 games. Yes, the NJ Devils were bad but they didn’t get much help from Subban.
Additionally, he has two more years on a deal that comes with $9 million AAV. Let’s consider that it will take at least two more years for Jack Hughes to become the star center everyone has him pegged to be. Would it make sense to give Subban a longterm deal at the age of 33? Maybe, but it would likely be wiser to send him to a contender for future assets.
NJ has the cap space to eat half that contract
At this moment, the Devils have over $17 million in cap space. They could trade PK Subban to a team at 50% retention and take on one or two medium-high priced contracts back.
In return, they could add another coveted first round pick in the 2021 draft or an NHL ready prospect or two. It makes a ton of sense and could help them expedite the rebuild.
Also, there are teams all over the league searching for a right-handed PP QB like PK Subban. There’s some common sense to all this and it would be wise for NJ to weaponize their cap space for the future.