The New Jersey Devils won their first playoff series in over a decade this past spring and now face the prospect of losing several key free agents in just under a month’s time. James Nichols of The Fourth Period reported today that Damon Severson’s camp isn’t sure whether the Devils want him to return or not. While it certainly doesn’t sound like the two sides are close to an agreement or even talking now, these types of agreements can be reached in a matter of days. Devils’ general manager Tom Fitzgerald has a lot of work to be done this summer and appears to have prioritized the Jesper Bratt and Timo Meier contract negotiations at this time.
Nichols reported yesterday that the Columbus Blue Jackets were interested in Severson’s services as well, and it isn’t a surprise given the players track record. Severson is sure to be in demand as he is a right defenseman coming off a season in which he put up 7 goals and 26 assists in 81 games. The veteran has spent his entire nine-year career with the Devils and could very well find himself in a different uniform come the fall.
In other Devils news:
- Nichols also reported that defenseman Ryan Graves sounds like a player that is on his way out of New Jersey. Nichols spoke with Graves agent Allain Roy who said that New Jersey needs to figure out if they have room for his client and that a lot will have to happen before they do. Graves is another defenseman that is sure to be in demand, the 28-year-old posted eight goals and 18 assists in 78 games this past season and was a big part of a Devils penalty kill that finished fifth in the league with a success rate of 82.5%.
- In positive news for New Jersey, Nichols reports that the Devils have engage in extension talks with Erik Haula. The left winger has stated his interest in returning to the Devils and Fitzgerald has said the Devils would like him back. While they are early in their discussions, Nichols says it would be hard to imagine them not working out a deal to bring the 32-year-old back into the fray. Haula came over from the Boston Bruins in a trade last summer and put up 14 goals and 27 assists in 80 games in his first year with the Devils.