Savard Traded to Devils, Dubinsky to Hawks.
The Devils have done what two short years ago would have seemed unimaginable when they dealt young gritty center Brandon Dubinsky to the Chicago Blackhawks for 1st line center Marc Savard. The Devils have been looking for a top flight player for months with David Backes playing the role as a center but that was always looked on as a band-aid of sorts. Now, with Savard, the team can move Backes to his more comfortable (and hopefully more productive) right wing and the team feels this gives the team a great balance in the top six. With three players lacking defensive awareness (Ryan, Savard, Kane) it's the hopes of the coaching staff that with the right line combinations those potentially minus players can be offset with good defensive players in Kobasew, Zajac and Backes.
The team was very pained in giving up on Dubi as they still feel he will end up being a solid 20 goal guy and potentially 60 points but the ability to land a guy like Savard who just had 3 assists in his 2nd game with the Devils is something they had to jump on. Losing a solid prospect like Keaton Ellerby (acquired in the Brind'Amour trade) and a swap of draft picks still made the deal worth it. The Devils hope Savard can pair well with either Kane or Ryan and turn one of them into a PPG player.
The team now has to use Vladimir Sobotka as a 3rd line center, which isn't ideal but solid grit and decent defense the team hopes he can hold the line together while they search around for a more suitable winger. Ideally that would mean trading a bottom six winger like Brunnstrom or Clarkson but the team still has to see what's out there.
Look for the new lines to be: