NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 09: Peter DeBoer of the New Jersey Devils looks on as Stephen Gionta #11 skates to the bench against the Los Angeles Kings during Game Five of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the Prudential Center on June 9, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
The New Jersey Devils re-signed five players on Friday, including their entire fourth line from the 2012 playoffs.
The New Jersey Devils have re-signed five of their players, including the entire fourth line from their 2012 playoff run. All of Ryan Carter, Stephen Gionta and Steve Bernier return to the team, along with enforcer Cam Janssen and defenseman Peter Harrold. The trio of Carter, Gionta and Bernier had a productive run in the playoffs this season, even though their average ice time as fourth liners dropped in the postseason from their regular season averages.
Devils announce in news release re-signings of Ryan Carter, Stephen Gionta, Steve Bernier, Cam Janssen and Peter Harrold.— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) June 29, 2012
New Jersey Devils blog In Lou We Trust wrote yesterday about the possibility of retaining those three players and keeping them together as the fourth line next season. They did not spend time as a group in the regular season, but could continue to play together into next year. If they do, they're likely to be more productive than the players who rotated in and out of the fourth line last season.
[I]f all three players return and put up these numbers over the course of a season, it would still be more productive from most of the fourth line last season. Keep in mind that Carter and Bernier got time on a third line at different points of the season, so their ice time - and possibly their points - jumped in that regard. Recall that Eric Boulton registered no points, the newly re-signed Cam Janssen got one measly assist, Brad Mills only got one helper in his short time on the fourth line, Tim Sestito got none in his tenure on the fourth line or elsewhere in 2011-12, and Vladimir Zharkov didn't get a real chance in four games so he's got nothing last season.