The New Jersey Devils and Travis Zajac agreed on a new 4-year, $15.55 million deal on Wednesday, avoiding a potentially ugly arbitration hearing that was scheduled for Friday. This is a great move to secure their no. 1 center and Zach Parise’s setup-man, for the next four years, and Parise is locked up for the next three. The next move is to add some more depth up front by possibly re-signing Brendan Shanahan and perhaps adding free agent Michael Peca — both on one-year deals. GM Lou Lamoriello has already stated that Rod Pelley will take over John Madden’s role next season, but if he can ink Peca to a one-year deal for say, a million, he should do it and allow Pelley to develop a little more, perhaps as the 4th line center. Then the lines could potentially look like this:
That’s not bad, and could be better with another player added for depth or if a well-constructed trade can be worked out with a team like San Jose (Patrick Marleau, Jonathan Cheechoo) or Boston (Phil Kessel).