Larry Brooks had a column recommending the Devils figure out a way to unload Patrik Elias and his relatively ginormous contract.
I’m shocked that Elias, once an offensive powerhouse, now has a regular shift on the Devils checking line.
But what do the Devils do? Brooks operates on the assumption the Devils can trade Elias for goaltending, but who wants to commit that much money to a player who could be irreparably broken? And would Elias even waive his no-trade clause?
Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has made some very questionable moves over the past few years, from somehow allowing Brian Rafalski to get away, to signing defenseman Vladimir Malakhov, to the ill-fated re-signing of Alexander Mogilny, who eventually lost his job to Elias, when Elias returned to the Devils line-up after recovering from hepatitis A. And right now, Bobby Holik and Brian Holston aren’t looking like great moves.
It’s early in the season and even with all of the Devils problems, they’re still in the thick of the playoff race, so things aren’t dire. Yet. Moving Elias could help but you have to wonder a) if he would agree to leave; b) what Lamoriello would bring in; and c) if any teams would be interested in Elias in the first place.
Oh. And the worst part about Barry Melrose getting fired? The NHL has to stop showing this NHL.com commercial featuring him. Oddly enough, in the commercial, Melrose wonders about the value of his assistant coaches. Awkward!