After saying Saturday that he would make qualifying offers to all of the teams restricted free agents, Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello revealed today that the team did not submit a qualifying offer to defenseman Andy Greene before Monday's 5 p.m. deadline. As a result, Greene, 26, will become an unrestricted free agent at noon Wednesday.
"We're going to talk to him and try to work something out," Lamoriello said.
Greene made $600,000 in 2008-09, so the Devils would have had to make him a one-year qualifying offer for $660,000 (10 percent raise). Lamoriello would not discuss the reasons for not making that offer. He sounded confident he would still be able to re-sign Greene, though.
"We're very comfortable we'll get him signed," Lamoriello said.
The Devils did make qualifying offers to the team's other restricted free agents -- center Travis Zajac, center Petr Vrana and left wing Patrick Davis. Although Vrana has signed to play in the Czech Republic next season, the Devils retained his NHL rights by making him a qualiftying offer.
Not only did the Devils acquire minor league center Ben Walter and a conditional 2012 draft pick from the Islanders today for the rights to Tony Romano, they also signed Walter to a new one-year, $500,000 contract.
Walter, 25, was to become a Group 6 unrestricted free agent (25 or older with at least three pro seasons and fewer than 80 NHL games played) at noon on Wednesday.
Could he end up with the Devils in 2009-10?
'We'll have to see," Lamoriello said. "He's a two-way player. He competes. He hasn't played in the NHL (only 22 career games), so we'll have to wait and see."
Lamoriello was pleased to re-sign defenseman Johnny Oduya to a three-year, $10.5 million contract earlier today. He said re-signing Oduya was one of the team's highest off-season priorities.
"He really was because of certainly the position and how much he's improved and the dimension he brings to the defense and he's 27 years old," Lamoriello said. "He wanted to be here and we wanted him to be here and we worked at it with his representation and things worked out."
Getting Oduya re-signed will allow Lamoriello to move on to other business with free agents leading up to and after the noon opening of the unrestricted free agent market on Wednesday.
"We'll go a step at a time," Lamoriello said. "Like I said earlier, if we can get better, we will. We still have to have fiscal responsibility."
With Oduya signed, re-signing Travis Zajac is near the top -- if not at the top -- of Lamoriello's to-do list now. It looks like they could have something done soon.
"He's without question one of our highest priorties," Lamoriello said. "We're going to do the best we can (to get him re-signed)."