For the first time in a long time, the New Jersey Devils biggest defensive issue is that they have too many defensemen.
With Mark Fayne re-signing and avoiding arbitration on Friday, along with Bryce Salvador re-signing two weeks ago, the Devils will be left with an odd-man out in their defensive corps when October rolls around.
In fact, it may be even more than an odd-man-out situation.
It was expected that last year's rookie phenom Adam Larsson might be the last man out -- especially considering he spent a good part of the final month of the season, along with nearly the entire playoffs in the press box.
But, weeks after the season ended, Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said that Larsson would be a regular in the lineup, making a strong case that somewhere, someone would have to be moved.
Salvador wasn't expected to re-sign. After an incredible performance in the playoffs, Salvador received strong offers from reportedly six teams, but his full intentions were to remain with the Devils, so he re-signed.
On Friday, Fayne signed a deal that worked well for the Devils, and for himself, a two-year/2.6-million-dollar contract. Fayne averaged around 20 minutes per game last season, and down the stretch, he was among the best defensemen the Devils had.
Now, with October approaching fast, it only makes sense for the Devils to move someone along the blue line.
There are questions surrounding several of the Devils defensemen. Last year, Anton Volchenkov didn't perform up to expectations and Henrik Tallinder missed virtually the entire season with a blood clot. Certainly, the Devils will wait to see if Tallinder can remain healthy before they would make a potential move with him, or see what they could get out of Volchenkov.
players like Peter Harrold and Andy Greene could be attractive to other teams as well. Greene has been a main-stay with New Jersey for several years, and Harrold was a strong performer throughout the final month of the regular season and a good portion of the playoffs.
In the ideal situation, the Devils would be able to dump some cap space by moving one of these defensemen. Fayne, Larsson and Salvador are all safe, due to a new contract or simple youth, but a move, in some mindsets, has to be made before the season starts.
The Devils also have some promising prospects in Eric Gelinas and Alexander Urbom. If either of these players make a push in camp, that could change this situation around, as well.
With a doubt, Lamoriello has a plan with this, and, as in previous cases, everything else will be speculation until the move is announced.
For Devils fans, expect one of the players that performed to some degree in the playoffs to be in a different uniform come October.