Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello admitted this afternoon that he gave his word to goaltender Scott Clemmensen that he would try to trade him before Wednesday's 3 p.m. NHL trade deadline if he can find the right deal.
"We said that all along that we would if something came about," Lamoriello said. "I think if something came about for Scott Clemmensen, we gave our word that we would do whatever was possible and what he did you can not ask for any more. It's an unfortunate situation and quite frankly it was very difficult when the decision was made to send him down, but it was the only decision.
"Saying that, you just don't give a player away."
Right now, it looks more likely that the Devils will deal Clemmensen for a draft pick than a player.
It appears the Lamoriello doesn't want to make any other changes to his team. He sounded very satisfied with adding defenseman Niclas Havelid in Monday's trade with Atlanta for rookie defenseman Anssi Salmela.
He didn't rule out making another deal, though.
"We'll see," Lamoriello said. "We have until 3 o' clock tomorrow and we'll see what transpires. If there's a chance of getting better, you do that, but it's not something you ever force to be done just for the sake of doing it. We would have liked to get something done early if we were going to do it and this is a player we targeted (Havelid) and we gave up something to get him."
What Lamoriello liked most about adding Havelid is that he believes he will fit seamlessly into the chemistry of his team.
"You always try to get better, but when you add, you have to make sure you don't subtract and in this case we certainly didn't subtract and we added a quality player. And he's a young player (not in age. He's 35). He's one of those physically fit players who keeps himself in tremendous shape."
Lamoriello said Havelid was expected to arrive in New Jersey from Atlanta late this afternoon. He did not feel any need for him to rush to Toronto for tonight's game against the Maple Leafs.
"I just felt that we've got three or four days off (after tonight's game), the team is playing well, Brent (Sutter) and I talked about it and let's get him into Jersey, so he can practice for a couple of days before he plays rather than just put him in the lineup," Lamoriello said. "He's got a family. Let them get adjusted, so once he gets here he's all set to stay. He has three little children."
Lamoriello said Havelid is a player that "can do everything well.,"
"Those are the type of people I call complete players," Lamoriello said. "He can be used in any situation at any time. When you've got the experience he has as far as playing in important games, a Stanley Cup run (with Anaheim in 2003), he's played in the playoffs and no matter where he went he was looked upon as a defenseman who played against (the opponent's) top line."
Sutter was happy about adding Havelid as well.
"I think he's just a real steady player," Sutter said. "He just does everything well. He's not one of those guys that's going to just completely be a flash-and-dash guy. He's a guy that just does everything well. He's good in all three zones."
Sutter said Havelid would play in the team's top six, but did not get into a discussion about who would come out of the lineup when he plays.
"I want to get through tonight and the we'll worry about that when Niclas gets there and we get into our first practice with him," Sutter said. "We're excited about having him. He wants to be here and he's very excited about coming."
When asked about Salmela, Sutter said, "Well, you've got to move someone to get someone and someone with the caliber of player that Niclas is and Sammy was part of that."
Devils center Bobby Holik, who played for three seasons with Havelid in Atlanta, also was happy about the trade.
"He's a great guy, very professional, cares about the team," Holik said. "He's a very good player. He's proven that the last few years. When I was there, he was always a plus player on a terrible defensive team and he just does everything well. He's not an all-star, but he can play against the top lines and he can play on the power play. I've seen him do that.
"He can't do the same things that Scott Niedermayer can do, but do you bring a star player into the situatuon we are in now? You might be dealing with a lot more upside as far as hockey goes, but also the ego."
Holik agreed with Lamoriello's assessment that Havelid will fit in seamlessly on the Devils without disrupting their chemistry.
"He's definitely going to slide in without really even knowing that we made a trade," Holik said.
Holik said Lamoriello did not ask him his opinion of Havelid before the trade.
"No. I'm a player," he said. "But I talked to Lou afterward and I think he's a great addition. I really, really liked Niclas when I played with him, just his approach to the game, his professionalism. His ability, too."
Defenseman Andy Greene knows he might end up as the odd man out after the trade for Havelid, but said he's trying not to think about that.
"It's one of those things that you can't control," Greene said. "The only thing I can control is going out there and playing my game. Playing my game and make a hard decision for coach. I can't really start worrying about that stuff because then you know what happens."