NHL Rumors: Devils Want To Add D, Dougie Hamilton Complicates Things

The New Jersey Devils defense continues to be an issue. Even before Dougie Hamilton got hurt and the emergence of Luke Hughes and Simon Nemec, the Devils defense continued to give up leads.

As previously written on NHLRumors.com, Devils general manager is alway looking to improve his hockey club. Whether that is an area of strength or an area of weakness, he is always on the lookout to improve his hockey club.

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Things have gotten a little more complicated for the Devils general manager as Dougie Hamilton is on IR, out indefinitely, after surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle.

Especially given his timeline. The Devils are unsure how long Hamilton will be out. He could out the rest of the regular season and come back for the playoffs or he could only be out 8-12 weeks.

And before any trade can be done, Tom Fitzgerald has to factor that into account on who he gets because the Devils are up against the salary cap. Right now, according to CapFriendly.com the Devils have $896,138 in cap space.

That is not a lot of room to add a player. Especially a defenseman or even a goaltender, which we will get into in another article. And the Devils need help on defense. But if Dougie Hamilton is on LTIR, then the Devils have $9 million to play with. That a big difference.

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Getting Colin Miller back was a huge upgrade on the backend. The emergence of Simon Nemec, could be a solution, especially if Hamilton is out on LTIR. But the Devils still want to add on the backend.

So where do the Devils look for defensemen now that Nikita Zadorov has been traded from Calgary to Vancouver? Zadorov was a target for the Devils, however, they needed the Flames to retain salary, which would cost the Devils more to give up.

Well, the Devils can still look to the Flames and Chris Tanev. He continues to be linked to the Devils. The rugged defenseman is exactly what the Devils need. He is a stay-at-home defenseman, who is physical in front of his own net, blocks shots, and plays on the penalty kill.

Outside of Tanev, who multiple teams have an interest in, where could the Devils find solutions?

Ryan Novozinsky of NJ.com suggests someone like Sean Walker of Philadelphia or Ilya Lyubushkin from Anaheim. The Flyers may not want to move the sound all-round defenseman to a divisional rival, especially with the team still in the mix for the playoffs.

Lyubushkin is interesting because you have seen with Anaheim, Toronto, Arizona, and Buffalo, he is a physical defenseman, something the Devils need. They need a physical presence on defense as they get pushed around too easily.

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Both guys are relatively cheap cap-wise. Walker carries a $2.65 million cap hit, while Lyubushkin $2.75 million cap hit. Again, the Devils from the start of the season needed someone to pair with Luke Hughes like we saw in Ottawa when Erik Karlsson had Marc Methot.

Outside of those two, there not many other options, Kevin Weekes of ESPN thinks the Devils could be interested in Tyson Barrie of Nashville, but as James Nichols of New Jersey Hockey Now notes, the Devils already have that type of player in Simon Nemec. Not to mention Nemec is cheaper and younger.

The only way Barrie comes to New Jersey, Nichols notes is if Nemec falls off and right now he has fit into the lineup perfectly for the Devils.

Again it is complicated for the Devils to make a trade right now, they need help and teams may not be willing to help them out.

The best thing for New Jersey to do is play better defense until they know the status of Dougie Hamilton long-term.