Devils General Manager Tom Fitzgerald Continues To Look For Upgrades
Ryan Novozinsky of NJ Advance Media for NJ.com: Novozinsky writes, that the New Jersey Devils are always looking for improvements. Whether they are to keep an area of strength or upgrade an area of weakness. Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald is always searching for ways to improve his club.
One area everyone points out is goaltending. Akira Schmid and Vitek Vanecek have not been good. Fitzgerald is on the lookout for a goalie that is equal to or better than Schmid. Remember, Fitzgerald would have liked Schmid to develop more in the AHL.
However, the Devils must also play better defensively in front of their goalies and that is another the Devils must look at as well.
Could The Devils Look To Calgary To Improve Their Defense?
James Nichols of New Jersey Hockey Now: Nichols writes the Devils defense continues to break down each and every night. New Jersey’s staple last season was defense. This year, the team can’t get out of its own way, especially in the defensive zone.
The loss of Ryan Graves and Damon Severson were huge and having a young player like Luke Hughes in the lineup comes with challenges. He is a rookie and will make mistakes. But that does not excuse the rest of the players.
As Nichols notes with the Flames struggling, could the Devils once again make a trade with them? This time to acquire a defenseman, either one of Nikita Zadorov, Chris Tanev, and Dennis Gilbert. All of whom are on expiring contracts.
Who Else Can The Devils Add?
James Nichols and Ryan Novozinsky hold a Twitter Space: Nichols and Novozinsky talk about potential adds the Devils can make on defense and in between the pipes. Two names they throw out are John Gibson and Thatcher Demko. Though both note Demko was not a real possibility.
Other goalies they name are Juuse Saros from Nashville or do they dip into Calgary’s system as well?
Gibson on the other hand, could still be traded, but not the way the Ducks are playing right now. However, Vanecek is the starter moving forward and the team needs to play better in front of him. Both agree defense is where to start.
Again, Nichols mentions Calgary. Instead of going after a puck-moving defenseman like Noah Hanifin, go after someone like Chris Tanev, who is a defensive-defenseman and can bring that physicality necessary to play alongside Luke Hughes.
Again, everything comes down to cost, and it is cheaper to go blueline than in between the pipes.