The New Jersey Devils are the gossip kings of the NHL right now. Every single offseason rumor seems to have a tie to the Devils. It all started when Tom Fitzgerald confirmed that he would consider trading his first-round pick. That was before the Devils moved up to the second-overall pick. This also was before Juraj Slafkovsky tore it up at the IIHF World Championships. That has plenty of teams making trade offers for the pick, and most of the other fanbases seem to think we’ll give it away for free.
Beyond the trade proposals for the pick, there are rumors running rampant about players on the Devils. Frank Seravalli with Daily Faceoff put Jesper Bratt on his trade board again. Of course, Bratt was on his trade board during the trade deadline, and that seemed preposterous then. It somehow seems even more preposterous now.
He talked about how the Devils made Bratt available in talks during the season, but honestly, everyone should be available for talks. It’s much different than anything getting serious. Beyond that, he says that Bratt and the Devils haven’t had a conversation about a contract. That comes incredibly contradictory to what I’ve been told personally. I don’t have Seravalli’s sources, but multiple people told me there have been talks about a framework.
Then, there are the whoppers. Johnny Gaudreau seems to be the biggest rumor. This isn’t the first time the Devils have been tied to the top free agent in the class. Last week, Hailey Salvian of The Athletic said she could see the Devils being the front runner. While a lot of people are putting it as Flyers and Flames as his possibilities, an incoming John Tortorella can’t help him go to the team he rooted for growing up.
Luckily for the Devils, they picked up the biggest offseason move during the season. This offseason would be a mess if they had to re-sign Jack Hughes. Giving him an eight-year deal was an incredibly smart move. It also made this offseason so much easier. It’s one thing to hear crazy rumors about the second-overall pick and Jesper Bratt, but imagine the crazy trade proposals we’d hear about Hughes.
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The Devils have a ton of young assets, and they want to win now. This is a perfect combination to dominate the rumor mill. We’ll see how much of this will actually come to fruition. For now, enjoy the ride. (Yup, we’re bringing that back.)