It's difficult to fathom, but rumors are floating that Travis Zajac may be among the players the Devils will eventually sacrifice to get under the salary cap if Ilya Kovalchuk's $100 million, 15-year contract is approved by the NHL.
Conventional wisdom suggests Bryce Salvador ($2.9 million) and Dainius Zubrus ($3.4 million) are the obvious candidates to surrender for the $3-5 million in cap space the Devils would need to clear by the start of the season if Kovalchuk's deal is approved.
Zajac has been the Devils' No. 1 center for three seasons, since Scott Gomez departed, but New Jersey acquired Jason Arnott this summer, seemingly solidifying the pivot position that would again need help if Zajac departs.
Zajac, 25, signed a new deal last summer that has a cap hit of $3.89 million for the next three seasons. He is coming off his best season of 25-42-67.
The Devils signed Kovalchuk a second time on Friday, and the league could announce its decision on this one today. The NHL rejected their 17-year, $102 million deal signed July 19, and that voiding was upheld in arbitration Aug. 9.
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