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Devils ink Quincey to one-year deal, shore up blueline ahead of season

Kyle Quincey was left waiting until the final few weeks before the regular season, but he’s landed himself another NHL deal. The veteran rearguard took a big pay cut to land with the Devils, though.

The Devils had no problem relying on all-world goaltender Cory Schneider in 2015-16, but with higher hopes for the coming season, New Jersey GM Ray Shero has gone out and attempted to shore up his defense by adding free agent Kyle Quincey.

Quincey, 31, signed a one-year, $1.25-million deal with the Devils Wednesday, and the signing allows him to completely forego the pro-tryout process regardless of the fact that he’s landing his contract so late in the off-season. The new deal is a hefty pay cut for Quincey — he’ll see his salary drop by $3 million from this past season — but the one-year deal gives him the chance to come into New Jersey, prove his worth and potentially land a longer-term extension with a higher salary.

This past season in Detroit, Quincey averaged nearly 20 minutes per game, but was plagued by injury. He suffered a concussion early in the campaign that put him on the shelf, but the more serious injury came when Quincey was forced to undergo surgery on his ankle to remove bone spurs. He ended up missing more 35 games while fighting his way back into the lineup, and he finished the year with a respectable four goals and 11 points in 47 games.

It’s almost a given that Quincey will come in and play top-four minutes for the Devils, and that shouldn’t be surprising following the trade that sent Adam Larsson to the Edmonton Oilers for Taylor Hall. In fact, it’s the Larsson-for-Hall swap that likely helped facilitate Quincey’s addition to the Devils. Without the hole on the back end, the Devils may not have had much use for the veteran rearguard.

However, with Larsson gone, the Devils don’t have much depth — veteran or otherwise — on the blueline. The off-season acquisition of Ben Lovejoy fills one hole, but veteran Andy Greene is starting to show signs of slowing and the top-four without Quincey would have been rounded out by John Moore and Jon Merrill. 

Quincey’s addition means that the Devils can also likely give Damon Severson another year to grow after his promising rookie season and a sophomore campaign that was trying at times. Severson averaged 18 minutes per game, but could be eyeing a part-time spot in the top-four this year.

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