The New Jersey Devils decided to deal their captain and franchise stalwart Andy Greene on Sunday afternoon, as they acquired a future second-round pick (2021), and prospect David Quenneville from the Islanders. This return is much more than people expected interim GM Tom Fitzgerald to get for Greene, and the firesale in New Jersey is off to a good start. Currently, the Devils are in 13th in the Eastern Conference and last place in the Metropolitan Division with 54 points in 58 games.
Greene will certainly help the Islanders defensive group, as he has 50 games of playoff experience under his belt. This season, Greene had 11 points in 53 games played with the Devils. Greene has appeared to benefit from playing a minute and twenty-seven seconds less than his career average ice time, as his penalty taken drawn is an impressive 6:4, and his GA/TA ratio is somewhat low for a defenseman at 32:12. He also had among the higher +/- numbers on the Devils at +1, which is impressive considering he plays 20+ minutes a night. He has a respectable -0.75 career AB score in a 12-year sample; however, he is coming off three negative seasons in a row. None of Greene’s $5 million salary will be retained by New Jersey in this trade, but he is set to hit unrestricted free agency on July 1st, meaning his salary will be off the Islanders’ books. Greene is the first defenseman to be traded by the Devils this deadline season, with P.K. Subban, Damon Severson, and Sami Vatanen waiting in the wings. Defense prospect David Quenneville has spent time in both the ECHL and AHL this season. Drafted in the 7th round by the Islanders in 2016, Quenneville has 8 pts in 36 games played this year in the AHL/ECHL.
This is potentially the first of many moves for interim GM Tom Fitzgerald, as he will definitely be one of the busiest men in hockey this week. Devils fans should be encouraged by this trade, as Fitzgerald clearly found a way to get maximum value for their 37-year old asset. Should he continue this trend, Devils Governor Josh Harris should absolutely consider making Fitzgerald the full-time GM. This next week is a very critical time for the Devils, as they look to continue to stockpile young assets and draft picks to build around their pair of #1 overall picks Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes. It will definitely be interesting to watch what Fitzgerald and his group decide to do before next Monday’s trade deadline and see just how far they take this fire sale. Much more to come.