Rich Teams Welcome Devils to ''The Club''

The New Jersey Devils have been known as the low-budget team to be very successful. Can GM Lou Lamoriello run this team with a low-budget?

Mark Everson of the NYPost reports:July 1, 2002 —

That raised bar Lou Lamoriello talks about demands he sign Bobby Holik, a brand-new unrestricted free agent today, and Tony Amonte, too. That raised bar also demands he raise his payroll to an astounding $60 million, a radical shift in philosophy.

It is unlikely that the Devils’ GM will manage either signing, but such failure will leave his once-proud team facing the prospect of missing the playoffs altogether. Even with Holik, they barely managed to make postseason after firing Larry Robinson, and only lasted six games before going out in the first round, prompting yet another coaching change.

Lamoriello’s payroll for the upcoming season already stands at a stunning $44.2 million before adding salaries for Holik (unrestricted), Patrik Elias, Brian Gionta, Scott Gomez, Jamie Langenbrunner, Sergei Nemchinov (unrestricted), Jay Pandolfo and Stephane Richer (unrestricted), all of whom are unsigned. This will be the season when the $7.6 million and $7.5 million salaries of Martin Brodeur and Scott Stevens kick in, with Joe Nieuwendyk earning $5 million.

Lamoriello will surely have to pay Holik $8 million a year to keep him, which immediately puts the Devils over the $50 million mark. He never replaced Alexander Mogilny after going to the Finals two straight years with the winger, and without him, the Devils floundered for lack of scoring. It will take some $7 million a year to have a shot at Amonte or Teemu Selanne, assuming that Bill Guerin’s final indifferent days in New Jersey assure he won’t be back.

Those two signings would push the Devils to the brink of a $60 million payroll, and signing Elias, Gomez, Langenbrunner, Pandolfo and a backup goalie would surely burst them above that mark.

Signing only Holik would not seem to be enough, given the example of last year. If he doesn’t get a gunner, too, Lamoriello might as well save his Holik money.

Holik has listed several factors as crucial in his decision where to play next year: salary, term, Stanley Cup chances, organizational competence, and suitability for his family.

He would not respond when asked if he believes the Devils can compete for the Cup next year if he’s in their lineup.

“The choice I make will probably answer a lot of questions,” Holik said.

He does not rule out re-signing with the Devils.

“I know what I’m going to get: a first-class organization. That could be a deciding factor,” Holik said.

13 Responses to Rich Teams Welcome Devils to ''The Club''

  1. son says:

    The key for the Devils is resigining Elias, Langenbrunner and finding a Amonte or Selanne that can get the job done. Also it’s almost time for Stevens(as much good as he has done) to hang up the skates, and PLEASE let Pandolfo go….

  2. SpragueCleghorn says:

    First off, this article was written by Mark Everson, not Larry Brooks. Everson is just as bad, if not worse, than Brooks. Everson covers the Devils but is a diehard Ranger fan. He will try to put the Devils down at every turn. NY Post =Not worth the paper its printed on.

    Two things, first the devils payroll will go up but doubtful they would top 60 million. But Everson would love that because he has a hard time getting around the devils success the last few years with a payroll of 35-38 million, while his Rangers are absolutely pathetic at 60+ million.

    Despite all their wishful thinking at the NY Post this time of year, the devils will be a top team in the East and will definately qualify for the playoffs. While the NY Rangers are going to have a very hard time just making the playoffs and that is even with them adding 2-3 high priced UFA’s. But you wouldn’t know that by reading the Post, oh no, the Post spews wild fantasies about Ranger greatness next season while the Devils, of course will be falling off the end of the earth. And people around here actually believe this bs.

    Oh yeah, Scott Stevins has two good/decent years left. Watch the games!

  3. son says:

    I have followed the Devils sense 1989(im not saying thats long but im only 21 now) Scott Stevens quality of play has decreased significantly this last year and it isn’t because of the team. He is getting older and slowing down. I never saw him make so many stupid penalties like he did this year. He didn’t come alive during the playoffs ether. He still can do the team good in the locker room, but he can’t earn his pay check buy locker room chats. We will only see the team suffer from his poor example on the ice.

  4. NYR88Express says:

    Attention Ranger’s fans…

    another rumors website reports: “A source claims he’s received information the NY Rangers could have UFAs Bobby Holik, Bill Guerin, Curtis Joseph and possibly Teemu Selanne signed.”

  5. bure_of_defence says:

    Right then only











    oh and dont forget rucinsky. that total is 250 mil. so when is the salary cap being introduced?

    p.s. Clarke sucks. Jan Hlavac for a goon that will now probably sign elswhere. Soon you will be the Rangers twin club. Poor management and overpaid underachieving players.

    bring on next season.

  6. mikster says:

    Give the rumors site.

  7. mikster says:

    I highly doubt the Devils will reach $60 million dollar payroll. I think they will reach close to the Flyers payroll, which will make them a high budget team.

  8. MantaRay says:


    I could not have said it better.

    (N)everson is THE worst writer in the New York market and his resentment of covering the Devils is echoed in every article.

    At least Brooks makes no bones he is the Rangers #1 supporter in the market. Everson is just plain bitter.

    I don’t think he has been accurate in any of his articles and typically makes up things for the sake of publishing a story.

  9. MantaRay says:

    I heard they were signing Belfour, Dafoe, Mario Lemeiux and Kasperitius as well.

  10. Stanajax says:

    Brashear is a RFA. Montreal’s GM, AndrĂ© Savard, checked is status and he is no UFA. Those who made the list just messed up….

  11. NYR88Express says:

    it was on Spector’s site, in the “Trade Rumors” section

    its the latest update for today and is called “SPECTOR’S INSIDERS”

  12. mikster says:

    Well, Everson just listed the numbers.

    I mean, the main point of the article is that the Devils already have a $44 million dollar payroll without the unsigned players. If they add a big name player, like Selanne, Amonte, or keep Holik….that means that they will have four high salaried players, and don’t forget that Brodeur can choose when he wants $8.9 in a season.

    Is that all you can do? Just say something about the Rangers and Everson? Everson made a good and true statement. The Devils will become a rich team now. That is all you have to comment on? On the Rangers? Come on buddy…

    I said something to Manta about the Devils becoming the Devil$ and all he did was laugh, well…Elias will be $7.5, Brodeur $8.9, Stevens $7.5, then Nieuwendyk $5, and then the other players to sign….PLUS, the scorer that they who will cost about $6 to $7.5, and if Holik is kept then it’s $8 million.

    All you can comment on this site is the Devil$ payroll, who really cares about Everson….i don’t about his opinions, he just listed the numbers that were the main point of the article.

  13. Jonathane says:

    “I know what I’m going to get: a first-class organization. That could be a deciding factor,” Holik said.

    Naw, it was the money.

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