NHL Rumors: Devils Unlikely To Extend Defenceman & Could Trade Him 1-For-1

The New Jersey Devils have three solid defencemen that should be in the top four on the right side of their blue line - Dougie Hamilton, John Marino, and Damon Severson. It is not only eating up unnecessary cap to have one of them playing on the third pairing, but the team is likely going to lose one of them in the offseason in free agency.

Severson is an unrestricted free agent next offseason and the Devils will be looking to spend their cap space more effectively. They would like to get some more scoring forwards to add to their lineup, and the money that they would be giving to Severson can go a long way in accomplishing that goal. He earns $4.167 million this season, but can and may be used to complete a hockey trade and get what they need.

With Marino and Ryan Graves currently on the injured reserve, a trade won't happen right away. But Severson has taken a step back in a reduced role from last season and will continue to be less effective as he is forced to play on the bottom pair.

In his eighth season, Severson put up career numbers scoring 11 goals and 46 points. Hamilton missed 20 games and P.K. Subban was the third RD, so Severson was firmly in the top-four playing key minutes. The Devils acquired Marino in the offseason, which was a good move, but it has made Severson their top trade piece.

With Ondrej Palat on the injured reserve and some scoring depth needed, Pierre LeBrun revealed that extension talks broke last summer between Severson and the Devils, possibly leading to a hockey deal this season.

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