By: Adam Gretz
With only one game on the NHL schedule on Monday night it appeared as if we were going to be in for a rather slow night. And then all hell broke loose. Fines, a coaching change, and now, a trade.
Less than two hours before the start of their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the New Jersey Devils announced that they have acquired defenseman Kurtis Foster and goaltender Timo Pielmeier from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenseman Mark Fraser, forward Rod Pelley and a 2012 seventh-round draft pick.
Foster is the name that will make the biggest immediate impact with a booming slap shot and some offensive ability from the point, two things the Devils could desperately use right now, currently owning the 26th ranked power play in the NHL entering play on Monday. In nine games this season Foster has scored one goal to go with one assist.
The Devils leading scorer among defensemen is currently rookie Adam Larsson with two goals and eight assists. The only other defenseman on the team to score a goal is Mark Fayne.
This will be Foster's fifth team in the past five years, as he has also spent time with the Minnesota Wild, Edmonton Oilers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Ducks. In 74 games last season, all with Edmonton, he scored eight goals to go with 14 assists, which came one year after he tallied a career-high 42 points in 71 games with Tampa Bay. Eight of his 16 goals over the past two years have come on the power play.
He is currently in the last year of a two-year contract that averages $1.8 million per season.
Fraser has appeared in four games for the Devils this season and recorded no points and 14 penalty minutes. In seven games, Pelley also has no points and seven penalty minutes.
Along with Foster, the Devils are also getting Pielmeier, a former third-round pick by the Sharks in 2007, that has been playing with the Elmira Jackals of the East Coast Hockey League. He's appeared in one NHL game.