General manager Lou Lamoriello said this morning that he has given Fedor Fedorov's agent permission to talk to other teams that might be interested in trading for him and the 25-year-old forward will not be play for the Devils. Lamoriello insisted that it was purely a numbers decision and he had promised Fedorov that if he wasn't one of the team's top 12 forwards, he could seek a deal elsewhere.
"We've given his representative time to talk to other teams," Lamoriello said. "When we spoke to him when he was coming this summer, if it looked like he wouldn't be one of the top 12 forwards, we would give his agent time to talk to other teams. He'll have a time frame. He's done nothing wrong. He's healthy. It's just a numbers decisions. We want to be proactive to that and give him the opportunity before training camp ended.
Asked if this meant Fedorov definitely would not be on the Devils this season, Lamoriello replied, "Yes."
Fedorov signed a one-year, one-way contract for $500,000 with the Devils in July after playing in Europe the last two seasons. He had one assist in four preseason games.
"Your top 12 forwards, they are what they are," Devils coach Brent Sutter said. "No one has stepped up to replace those guys. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if it's Fedor or whoever else. Those 12 guys have earned the right to be the top 12 from how they played through camp."
If Fedorov's agent can't find a taker, the next step would be to place him on waivers.
"We'll take one step at a time," Lamoriello said. "He's played well enough. There's nothing he hasn't done. I just want to emphasize there is no issue, no problem. It's just a hockey situation that his representative and I have talked about and I respect. He's worked very hard to give himself an opportunity, so he deserves that opportunity."
In addition to Fedorov being on his way out, right wings Nicklas Bergfors, Vladimir Zharkov and Patrick Davis, defensemen Matt Corrente and Tyler Eckford and goaltender Scott Clemmensen have joined those practicing in Lowell. Lamoriello said none of those players have been officially assigned there and it's possible they could come back, as Davis did to play in Monday's game against the Capitals.
Chad Wiseman (groin) and Kevin Cormier (knee) have also been shifted to Lowell to work with conditioning coach Vladimir Bure.
Notable players who are still in New Jersey: D Anssi Salmela, D Jay Leach, LW Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, C Petr Vrana.
There are still 27 players still in New Jersey. Lamoriello decisions on final cuts will be made after Saturday's preseason finale against Philadelphia.
It turns out right wing Matt Halischuk is still in New Jersey. Lamoriello said he hadn't skated for "the last three or four days" because his "groin is bothering him", but he skated today with defenseman Mike Mottau after today's morning skate at Prudential Center. Mottau had been off the ice since Friday because he was ill.
Defenseman Johnny Oduya did not skate with the team this morning and skated on his own.
"He just sore," Lamoriello said. "He wants to play, but we won't let him."
Listed below is the lineup for tonight's preseason game against the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum and the extra players.
The line of Jay Pandolfo, John Madden and David Clarkson will not play in tonight's game against the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum. Defenseman Jay Leach also will not play tonight. Martin Brodeur will get the start in net and is slated to go the distance.
You'll notice that Petr Vrana is skating at right wing on a line with Pierre-Luc Letoureau-Lebond at left wing and Rod Pelley at center. I'll have more on that in another post that I'll put up shortly.
Forwards (16): Elias-Rolston-Gionta; Parise-Zajac-Langenbrunner; Rupp-Holik-Zubrus; Leblond-Pelley-Vrana; Extra line: Pandolfo-Madden-Clarkson. Skated on his own: Halischuk.
Defensemen (9): Salvador-Martin; White-Salmela; Greene-Brookbank; Extra: Jay Leach. Skated on their own: Oduya, Mottau.
Goalies (2): Brodeur, Weekes.
Lamoriello said Barry Tallackson, who had surgery Friday to correct an irregular heartbeat, will be returning to New Jersey "this weekend" and "the doctors have given him the green light to skate and do whatever he needs to do."
Lamoriello said Tallackson would be allowed to start practicing with the team, "whenver he's ready physicially, conditioning-wise."
How long that will take is up in the air.
"He hasn't had any training camp," Lamoriello said. "That's unknown."