Here’s a shocker from the Garden State: The New Jersey Devils will send rookie defenseman Eric Gelinas to the AHL Albany Devils when they activate defenseman Anton Volchenkov from the IR.
Gelinas has gotten Calder Trophy buzz this season after putting up 12 points in 33 games and skating 19:25 per game for the Devils, the fifth-highest total on the team.
But according to the Devils, his defensive game has slipped in the last several games, to the point where he’s AHL bound. Via Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger, President/GM/Ruler Of All He Surveys :
"Eric, I think, has to get his game back. The last several games he's been pressing. He's just going through some growing pains right now. This could be short term."
Gelinas has struggled mightily in his last seven games, putting up just one assist as well as a minus-3 against the Anaheim Ducks and a minus-2 against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night.
Maybe this is a short-term shock to the system for Gelinas, indicative of how badly the Devils need him to play well again. A 6-4 defenseman with a cannon shot and great offensive instincts can’t exactly be replicated by another player on the roster.
The question is whether it's better to keep in the NHL to have him work this out or to shuttle him off to Albany.