Active week has Devils in position to return to playoffs

Last Sunday, the New Jersey Devils hosted the NHL Draft and came away big winners. They didn’t stop, making a rash of moves over the course of the week in hopes of returning to the playoffs.

It started with the team trading for Cory Schneider from the Vancouver Canucks at the Draft, then selecting legendary goalie Martin Brodeur’s son, Anthony, in the 7th round.

On Thursday, the team re-signed veteran forwards Patrik Elias and Danius Zubrus. Elias was the team’s leading scorer last season, posting 36 points in 48 games and enters his 17th season as part of the Devils organization. He signed for $16.5 over three-years, while Zubrus also agreed for three-years and $9.3 million.

“To Lou, all my teammates and Devils fans, I’m excited to sign a new contract and be back with New Jersey,” Elias said in a statement through his agent.

When Free Agency opened on Friday, New Jersey lost former 30-goal scorer David Clarkson to Toronto. They were able to make up for the loss by agreeing to terms with Ryane Clowe and Michael Ryder.

Ryder’s contract will pay him $7 million over the next two years. He scored 16 goals and 35 points last season with the Dallas Stars and Montreal Canadiens. He’s two seasons removed from scoring 35 goals with the Stars. Ryder was part of the Boston Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup Championship team.

Clowe was dealt from the San Jose Sharks to the New York Rangers at the Trade Deadline, but was let walk by the Rangers due to cap difficulties. New Jersey rewarded the power forward, who brings a similar game to the now-departed Clarkson, with a five-year $24.25 million contract.

Clowe has had concussion problems during his career, including missing games at the end of the regular season and the Rangers’ first three postseason games. He’s determined to show the Devils that they rightfully spent the money.

“I have to prove other people wrong and prove myself right, I guess. I feel great. I’m 30 years old and I feel like I’m entering my prime. I feel like I have a lot of good hockey ahead of me. There is no concern from me. At the end I know I will prove the Devils right,” Clowe told The Star-Ledger.

New Jersey also signed forward Rostislav Olesz and traded defenseman Henrik Tallinder to Buffalo to cap off the busy week.