Henrik Tallinder Reaction: What the Trade Means for the New Jersey Devils

Joseph KuchieCorrespondent IJuly 7, 2013

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 06:  Henrik Tallinder #7 of the New Jersey Devils skates in an NHL hockey game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Prudential Center on April 6, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello made another deal today, trading defenseman Henrik Tallinder to the Buffalo Sabres for forward Riley Boychuk.

Tallinder, 34, spent three seasons in New Jersey after signing a four-year contract in 2010. He played a limited role for the Devils last year, recording one goal and three assists in only 25 games, and found himself on the bench in favor of other defensemen on the roster.

Tallinder's 2011-12 campaign was also cut short due to a blood clot in his leg, forcing him to miss extended time and only appear in 39 games. He's due to make $3.5 million in the final year of his contract in 2013-14.

This was clearly a move to release some cap space, something the Devils desperately need with newly-signed forwards Ryane Clowe and Michael Ryder making a combined $8 million next season.

New Jersey now has $7.1 million in cap space to sign restricted free agents Adam Henrique and Jacob Josefson and still have the option to resign Marek Zidlicky.

However, I think this move needed to happen regardless of the cap situation.

Back in 2011-12, the Devils were blessed with depth on defense when Tallinder and Adam Larsson both went down midway through the season. However, last season turned out to be a mess with eight healthy defensemen on the roster and only six spots to fill.

You could also argue that the Tallinder signing was a bust. Despite having his best year in 2010-11 with 16 points in 82 games, Tallinder only appeared in 49 percent of his possible appearances (64 out of 130) and managed to record just 26 total points and a combined minus-17.

This move also allows Peter DeBoer to get Larsson in the lineup, something that needs to be done if the Devils want their future to be bright. Larsson was forced to sit out numerous times in favor of veterans like Tallinder and Zidlicky, but it seems like 2013-14 may be his year to break out.

As for Boychuk, he was a seventh-round pick back in 2010 and recorded just two points in 26 games last season for the AHL's Rochester Americans. He will likely spend a majority of his time in the minors next year and don't be surprised if he doesn't see any time with the Devils in 2013-14.

I like the move. I think it was something that had to be done, but I don't expect this to be Lamoriello's last move.