Friday, September 12, 2008


The Rod Pelley Nightmare is OVER

We can all relax now, Tom Gulitti has reported that Rod Pelley has signed a 2 year, $1.1 million deal with the Devils. If you like official announcements without much information, the Devils main site announces that Pelley has signed. Gulitti gives no indication that it's a two-way deal; so that's $550,000 cap hit. NHL's Cap has the Devils with approximately $3.1 million in salary cap space before the deal; so I think this signing it likely guarantees that if the New Jersey Devils will sign someone, it won't be for big money. Likely for a two-way player, if anyone. Anyway, I got two questions about this?

First off, it really needed to take this long to sign Pelley? Pelley made $522,000 last season. Per Gulitti's details, he's getting a raise of $3,000 for this season and then he'll get a $50,000 raise after that. Sure, for most of us, that would be huge. But for a NHL player? That's not significant. The negotiations ran long for that small of a raise? I can see the issue of the contract being one-way being a sticking point? But did it need to go all the way to September to agree on terms?

Second, while I have no issue with Pelley on the team; he's proven to be a capable fourth line center in the 58 games he played last season. But he does know that he's got to compete for his spot again in spite of the contract, right? Consider the following: The Devils kept Pelley, signed Bobby Holik, they have Mike Rupp and David Clarkson, signed Fedor Fedorov - who wants to play for New Jersey and not Lowell, and they have (at least) Petr Vrana competing for a spot. I don't know about you, but I see a logjam on that fourth line. Who gets those last set of roster spots depends on what Sutter wants to do and what the new(er) guys do in camp. For that reason alone,

Again, I don't have a problem with Pelley; and I'd almost have to think that Sutter will keep an extra forward on the roster given this logjam of capable fourth liners. And hopefully for Pelley's sake, he'll get one of those sports. Otherwise, I openly wonder why Pelley was signed.

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I agree for the structure of the contract its puzzling why it took so long. Having extra depth and therefore more options cant hurt. Who knows maybe Lou will package some of the excess for a top 4 d-man which I think we still need. Im sold on Martin as at least a top pair (maybe better as a #2 but not the point right now). Salvador and White are solid. The big question is if Oduya continues to develop, if he does our D might be ok, if not we'll need another solid guy.
I personally like Pelley more than Fedorov or Rupp, although I'm probably pretty biased after using him with the Lowell Devils in NHL 08. The man is a beast in that game.
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