Vishnevski wasn't particularly bad. OK, his production was not existent and you didn't really want to see him in the top 4. But, he was a physical defenseman and he did his job as Vishnevski finished last season with 140 hits, 10 behind leader David Clarkson. Beyond that, that's all you should really expect from him. He's not particularly quick, his positioning isn't anything to write home about, and his main talent is, well, hitting. He fit on the team, playing 69 games for the team, but his spot was always in doubt by the sheer number of third pairing defensemen on the team.
However, with seven other defensemen on the roster, it seemed likely that a move was going to be made. Back in July, I figured Vishnevski would be a player on the trading block.
Shows you what I know, he's not going to be traded at all. Just dumped. Should his contract gets bought out, it'll be more likely that Vishnevski will be picked up on waivers. Like I said, he has his role and he does it competently. While it won't be for $2 million/year, one of the other 29 teams will pay him to do just that.
So the Devils would benefit by clearing up some more cap space. Unless there's some regulation involving buyouts (and I'm sure there is - any cap gurus with some knowledge about this, please let me know), the Devils should end up with a little over $3 million in cap space. Not a bad chunk of change, but I don't see the Devils going out and signing another free agent. There really isn't too much value left. But it will come very handy in February for a trade deadline deal, giving the team more flexibility as to who they can pursue.
I still think the other major factor in this decision, other than money, is the roster itself. With Vishnevski, the Devils had 8 defensemen on contract with 2 prospects already named by Lou that the franchise is interested in seeing further.
With Vishnevski on the outs, Matt Corrente or Tyler Eckford (or someone else entirely, like Anssi Salmela) will have a much better chance of taking an eighth spot. I also think the Devils aren't done making moves on defense. Depending on who shows up strong in camp, we may see at least one other defensemen being moved - either traded or placed on waivers.
Labels: 2008 Offseason, Devils Issues, Devils Prospects