With training camp opening up this past week, this week’s edition of the Jersey Joe Corner looks at the 2019-20 New Jersey Devils. Jersey Joe Stanislau and Jim Biringer from lastwordonhockey.com discuss a wide array of topics. Some of these include Pavel Zacha, the latest on Taylor Hall, the role of Andy Greene, and so much more.
Jersey Joe Corner
Pavel Zacha Re-Signs With New Jersey
After some technical difficulties to start the show, the boys jump right into the saga involving Pavel Zacha. On Monday, September 9th, a report came out that Zacha had agreed to terms with Avangard of KHL. Devils general manager Ray Shero was quick to make sure everyone knew “he didn’t care where Zacha signed because the Devils still owned his rights.” Less than 24 hours later, the Devils and Zacha agreed to a new three-year bridge deal. This is a big year for Zacha, who will need to build off the momentum of last season into this year. Jersey Joe and Jim discuss the options for Zacha at both the center and wing positions.
Latest on Taylor Hall
Jim gives the latest on the Taylor Hall situation with the Devils. Hall is betting on himself this season. He continues to be patient and does not want to rush into a contract extension. Shero and the Devils want to make sure Hall’s knee is completely healed. Jim shares comments from Shero about how the fans should not “hold their breath for a deal at the end of the month.” This leads to a discussion on why Hall needs to let the Devils know now about his decision. That way Shero can line up potential trades and the Devils are not left hanging in the wind. No team wants to be like the New York Islanders after John Tavares left via free agency.
Role of Andy Greene
Jersey Joe brings up the Devils Puck Drop Preview on Last Word On Hockey. He asks Jim why he put Andy Greene on the third pairing with Sami Vatanen? Jim mentions the fact that Greene is not the player he used to be. The Devils would be better off having Greene in a limited role with the Devils. While it is nice Greene blocks shots, he is always out of position. Since Greene wears the “C” it is hard for the coaching staff to bench him.
Devils Release Roster and Only Handful Spots Open
With the Devils releasing their training camp roster, the coaching staff has tough decisions to make. Since the Devils need to have a 23-man roster at the start of the season, that leaves only a handful of spots open. Jim tells Jersey Joe realistically there is one spot open considering 22 spots are already secure. One of those spots goes to Jesper Boqvist. With the final spot going to Ty Smith.