Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

It's Decision Time for Devils

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

It's Decision Time for Devils

Article excerpt

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Now, it's time for Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello to make some tough decisions.

After defeating Columbus, 2-0, on Saturday on Cory Schneider's 33- save shutout, the Devils have no games left before Monday's 3 p.m. trade deadline.

Despite Saturday's victory, the Devils still sit nine points behind Boston for the second wild-card spot in the East. As optimistic as Lamoriello, also the team's interim coach, can be, it's highly unlikely the Devils can overcome that deficit in their final 19 games.

So, he must see now which of his veterans on expiring contracts he can move before the trade deadline to add pieces for the future. He gave no hint of his plans.

"We'll just worry about this one right now, enjoy it a little bit and worry about the next thing as it comes," he said.

Lamoriello already made one trade, shipping Jaromir Jagr to Florida on Thursday for two draft picks. He still has a host of other potential unrestricted free agents, including defenseman Marek Zidlicky and forwards Scott Gomez, Michael Ryder, Martin Havlat, Jordin Tootoo and Steve Bernier.

The players know changes could be coming before their next game Tuesday against Nashville, but said it was not something that was stressed or mentioned Saturday.

"It's always a reality or a possibility, but we haven't talked about it, we haven't thought about it," Schneider said. "Maybe some guys have, but we have a couple days here and we have a day off tomorrow, so we might show up Monday and maybe not see anybody. It's just the way it is. Or we might see some new faces."

The 38-year-old Zidlicky, who has four goals and 19 assists this season, could draw the most interest because of his offensive skill from the blue line, but has a full no-trade clause, so he has control over where he might go. Zidlicky said his no-trade clause has yet to be brought up to him. …

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