NHL Rumors: Devils Set Maximum Price For Potential Forward Signees

The New Jersey Devils appear to have set their price when it comes to how much they are going to be paying their forwards. Since Jack Hughes is signed until 2030 for $8 million AAV and he is their best player, the Devils prefer not to pay forwards more than that per year. Elliotte Friedman said this is something to consider for not just Timo Meier, but also Jesper Bratt.

It's hard to argue with the logic of the Devils as Hughes is just in the first year of his eight-year contract. Sure he signed it in 2021 before he has put together incredible offensive numbers, but what kind of a message does it send for lesser forwards to take more than the team's best player.

This definitely could impact the acquisition of Meier as he has been given permission to talk to teams before a trade by the San Jose Sharks is brokered. This is to see where he would sign long-term so that the Sharks can maximize their return. If the Devils set their price at $8 million AAV, Meier can surely get more from somewhere else and may stunt any potential trade between the teams. The Devils are the front-runner to land Meier due to the assets they have and having expressed a want for a winger signed past this season.

As for Bratt, he was asking for a large amount of money after last season. The two sides came to an agreement on a one-year prove it deal. He has more than proved he deserves the money already as he is over a point-per-game and sits second in points behind Hughes. There is still a gap between the two as far as productivity is concerned though. Hughes has 33 goals and 64 points in 49 games while Bratt has 19 goals and 50 points in 49 games. Getting Bratt's number at or below Hughes' will be easier than Meier. Both Bratt and Meier are RFAs at the end of the season. I can see Bratt's contract discussion going deep into the summer.

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