On Monday afternoon, the Devils made qualifying offers to defensemen Matt Taormina, Matt Corrente, Mark Fraser, Maxim Noreau, Vladimir Zharkov, Steve Zalewski, Nathan Perkovich and Jeff Frazee. By doing so, the Devils prevented those restricted free agents from becoming unrestricted. Alexander Vasyunov was given a qualifying offer but has signed a one-year contract to play in his native Russia next season for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the KHL.
The news of the day wasn’t really who they gave offers to, but more about who they didn’t. Defenseman Anssi Salmela did not receive an offer from the Devils and is free to field offers from other teams in the league on Friday. Salmela, who returned to the Devils in the Kovalchuk trade, had seven points (one goal, six assists) in 48 games and was minus-11 last season. Salmela has always been a kid I wanted to see succeed. He’s been a part of the Devils two separate times and both tours with the club have been underwhelming which is probably why he didn’t receive an offer yesterday. Lou did mention he would continue to talk with Salmela but when you look at the little amount he would have gotten had the Devils made him an offer, I would tend to believe there won’t be a lot of talking from the Devils.
Free Agency opens up on Friday but I would have to believe that the Devils will be very quiet. They do need to sign someone to fill Hedberg’s spot, although I am hoping that it is Hedberg that they sign and there is the unsigned Andy Greene that the Devils need to deal with.