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The New Jersey Devils Could Be Shopping For A Goaltender

The New Jersey Devils have some injury issues with their goalies. The team could look around the NHL for another netminder if these injuries continue.
Mackenzie Blackwood

Entering this week with a 12-3-0 record, the New Jersey Devils sit atop the Metropolitan Division as one of the NHL's hottest teams. However, the lack of a reliable starting goaltender could threaten their efforts to maintain that perch as the season rolls along.

Oft-injured starter Mackenzie Blackwood is currently on injured reserve with a sprained MCL while Vitek Vanecek is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. Jonathan Bernier has only recently resumed skating with the Devils after missing most of last season to hip surgery.

The Devils were forced to call up Akira Schmid and Nico Daws, but they're unlikely to be long-term solutions. In an interview last Thursday with NJ.com's Ryan Novozinsky, GM Tom Fitzgerald indicated his club would “explore anything and everything” to bolster their goaltending depth.

Finding an experienced NHL goalie could be challenging at this time of year. Most teams are still evaluating their rosters, plus there isn't enough separation yet between playoff contenders and pretenders in the standings.

Cap Friendly indicates the Devils are currently exceeding the cap by $1.19 million. If necessary, they could move Ondrej Palat and his $6-million cap hit to the long-term injury reserve. That would give them sufficient room to acquire a netminder should Blackwood and Bernier remain sidelined.

Anton Khudobin could be an option. His $3.33-million cap hit made it impossible for the Dallas Stars to promote him from the AHL when Jake Oettinger was recently sidelined. The 35-year-old is playing well for the Stars' farm team and could be made available in the trade market.

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