It’s no secret the Devils could use some more offensive firepower, particularly a top-six winger. While there’s been a lot of talk about Petr Sykora re-signing once the lockout is officially over (still waiting), TheFourthPeriod postulates the Oilers might be looking to move winger Ales Hemsky in exchange for help on the back end, with the Devils listed as one of several interested parties.
Tambellini might prefer to send Hemsky to the Eastern Conference, as teams will only play within their own conference this season.
The Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders and Winnipeg Jets would all like to add a playmaking winger to their roster and could target Hemsky.
The Devils have enough depth on the blue line both at the NHL and AHL level to make a deal happen, but I question whether the Devils would want to make the necessary salary commitment to acquire Hemsky. Hemsky is scheduled to make a pro-rated $5 million this season, which would fit well into the Devils’ $14 million in cap space. However, he’s slated for the same pay day next season when the cap will drop drastically to $64.3 million. According to Cap Geek, the Devils only have a little over $32 million committed to five forwards, six defensemen and both goalies in 2013-14. Assuming the Devils spend to the cap ceiling (which they won’t), Hemsky’s $5 million salary would account for 15 percent of their available cap space in ’13-14. Then, add in the fact that Adam Henrique will be an RFA, while Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac, Dainius Zubrus, David Clarkson and Marek Zidlicky will be unrestricted free agents and it seems entirely too expensive a proposition for the Devils.