Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Devils sign Zubrus

TSN is reporting that the New Jersey Devils have signed free agent forward Dainius Zubrus to a 6-year, $20.4 million contract, which is a terrific bargain given some of the contracts that have been handed out in the last two days, most notably the Los Angeles Kings signing center Michal Handzus, decidedly a downgrade from Zubrus, to a deal that will pay Handzus $4 million a year. In addition to having one of the cooler names in all of hockey, Zubrus scored a career-high 24 goals and 60 points in 79 games for Washington and Buffalo last season. While you're probably kidding yourself if you believe he'll replace recently departed free agent Scott Gomez outright, he did net the same amount of points as Gomez, albeit in seven more games. Here's what the Devils depth chart at forward looks like, slotting Zubrus in at left wing rather than center:


Overall, that isn't terrible, especially if Zach Parise and Brian Gionta can both hit 35 goals, but it's the defense that'll now need to be improved and I don't think Johnny Oduya's recent re-signing or Karel Rachunek's reported resurfacing in Jersey is going to necessarily fix that.

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