The Devils received bittersweet news on left-winger Brian Rolston yesterday. The bitter was that Rolston would miss the next four-to-six weeks to undergo surgery to repair a sports hernia, marking the third serious injury to Devils’ regular this season.
While the Devils will miss Rolston’s presence on the third line and powerplay, the team gets some much needed cap relief by assigning him to the long-term injured reserve. By moving Rolston to the LTIR, the Devils can exceed the cap by $5,062,500, giving them a significant amount of cap space to fill out their lineup. While it’s another short-term solution to a major problem, the injury will finally allow the Devils to have a full roster for regular season games.
Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello will have a plethora of players he can call up from Albany to fill out the roster. Here’s who I think should get the call.
1. Jacob Josefson – The Swedish center made it to the last round of cuts before being sent down by the Devils last week. Josefson showed some promise in the preseason, playing well and seemingly winning the third-line center job. He hasn’t shown much offensively, and his faceoffs still need work. But he’s shown he can handle playing at an NHL level, and should be considered for a call-up. The Devils also seem to be set at center with both Adam Mair and Rod Pelley battling it out for the third and fourth line center positions. Josefson would simply be a depth move, which may keep him in the AHL.
2. Mattias Tedenby – The Devils’ other Swedish prospect began to find himself near the end of the preseason. He looked more and more comfortable on the ice, and he began to play a more confident game. Tedenby could probably use some experience at the AHL level, but sticking him on the fourth line wouldn’t be a terrible idea. He can give the Devils some pop on the fourth line, and he may even net a few goals when everything is said and done. The Devils need to put together a fourth-line, so Tedenby’s chances are probably better than Josefson’s to make the team.
3. Vladimir Zharkov – Zharkov has already shown he can play on the big stage. Last season he played very well for the Devils, recording 10 assists in 40 games. He never lit the lamp, but he showed some offensive promise. Zharkov could always be counted on to bring a consistent effort to the ice night in and night out. While both Zharkov and Tedenby are right wingers, Zharkov is a lefty, and could make the move to left wing if needed.
4. Matt Corrente – Everyone in the organization loved what Corrente brought to the table during training camp, but the team sent him down in the last round of cuts. With the Devils able to add a few depth players, I think it’s a safe bet to assume that Corrente will re-jon the Devils. The young defenseman brings toughness to the blue line, and isn’t afraid to drop the gloves. He’s could be a big bruiser in the mold of Anton Volchenkov, and since the team raved about him, I’d expect them to bring him back.
Those four players seem like the most likely to be recalled by the Devils. What do you think? Is there anyone I’m missing? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
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