New Jersey Devils are currently undergoing a winter sale. Over the weekend, Devils made two trades that saw them parting ways with veterans Blake Coleman and Andy Greene in exchange for draft picks and prospects.
Devils traded Coleman to Tampa Bay Lightning, receiving first-round draft pick in 2020 via Vancouver Canucks and forward prospect Nolan Foote. If Canucks make it to the playoffs, the pick conveys, if not, Devils will receive their 2021’s first-rounder.
The decision to trade Coleman is a puzzling one, especially since the 28-year-old forward is in the middle of a career season, contributing with 21 goals and 10 assists. However, Devil’s executive vice president Tom Fitzgerald says the deal with Tampa Bay was made in order to set up the team for the future.
“This transaction allows us to acquire two key pieces in continuing to build this team around our foundational cornerstones,” said Fitzgerald.
Greene, on the other hand, leaves the Devils after playing his entire career with the franchise and serving as a team’s captain. In order to give up the 38-year-old defenseman, New Jersey received prospect defenseman David Quenneville and a second-round draft pick in 2021.
“Andy has been a bedrock for the Devils franchise for the past 14 years and an exceptional leader in my time here,” added Fitzgerald. “I constantly communicated with Andy throughout this process to make sure he was comfortable with the decision, as it was not one I took lightly.”
New Jersey Devils hoped to bounce back after a couple of bad seasons in 2019/20, but things didn’t work in their favor. They are currently dead-last in the Metropolitan Division, with 22-26-10 record, and the bad form slowly shifted their focus to rebuild. This is why the team is expected to make several more deals before the trade deadline expires.