The Devils have been bounced in the first-round for the 3rd straight season which means this off-season should get pretty interesting. Lou certainly bit into the future of this team to bring in Kovalchuk because he wanted to win now and that is exactly what the Devils didn't do. The following is a list of guys that will be available for all teams to grab on July 1st and I quickly have a few thoughts about them. These are my thoughts and I am sure AJ will cover his thoughts at some point on this subject.
Ilya Kovalchuk - He's a player that possesses an amazing ability and any team is lucky to have him but in order to get him, that team will need to open their wallet. I don't see any reason why he would decide to stay in NJ. My feelings are that he won't be back in NJ next season unless it is to play against the Devils. At this point I am not even sure I really want him anyway. Like I said, he is a tremendous talent but the Devils have always been a team made of by the sum of its parts and not by one superstar.
Rob Neidermayer - Let him go, whatever reason he was here, it didn't work out.
Dean McAmmond - He had a decent season, for a guy who's career everyone thought was done. I don't see him returning to the Devils next season but based on the season he had (season, not post-season) I'm sure he'll land somewhere.
Paul Martin - The only on this list I am going to say to keep. He's our #1 D-man and yes he missed a lot of time this season but when he was playing, he played like our #1 D-man.
Mike Mottau - He'd have his moments where he did the right thing but he had a lot of moments where his mistakes hurt us. Never been a big fan so I say goodbye.
Martin Skoula - Why??? Didn't like this pickup when it happened and he brought nothing to the table. Bye bye!
Yann Danis - Honestly, I really don't know about Danis. He only got to play in a handful of games and you can't get any kind of rythmn riding the bench for most of the season. If he wants to come back then why not let him. It's not like next season Marty is magically going to not start 90% of the games.
Like I said, these are just a few quick thoughts of mine on the Devils UFA's this summer. I am sure over the coming weeks and months, we will get much deeper into our UFA's as well as our RFA's and Prospects. Gotta love getting bounced early in the playoffs don't you? It just gives you so much time to focus on stuff like this!!