Scott Stevens, D, retired yesterday. Stevens, 41, made it official yesterday afternoon that he wouldn't return to the NHL after several great seasons and Stanley Cups with the Devils. Although he wasn't a great pool defenseman in the league, unless you counted PIM or Plus/Minus in your point statistics, he will be missed by several players that benefitted from his grit and leadership.
His departure will make room for younger talent in the New Jersey organization, some which is highly touted. Once they become signed, if they become signed, Paul Martin and David Hale are two defensemen that have been with the Devils organization and both have a great upside to them. Unfortunately, they may have to wait behind a guy like Vladimir Malakhov before they really get their shot on the power play. Look for Malakhov to get the minutes in place of Stevens, but with completely different results.
Vincent Damphousse, F, retired this morning. Damphousse was generally picked in most pools as a playmaking centre... but time has taken its toll on him and he was also squeezed out by the CBA. He would have been a guy that would have cost a team a fair chunk of change as an Unrestricted Free Agent, but now in the times of new caps for salary, he wouldn't be able to command the same amount of money because of cap room and younger, cheaper talent.
San Jose may miss Damphousse this year as they haven't really filled any of the potential voids that their youth system may not be able to fill... it'll be interesting to see if San Jose wouldn't beg and plead for the aged-centre to come back for one more year. There isn't a great deal of good centres left on the market, so the Sharks will have to focus on their farm team to provide them with great new talent.
The big gainer in ice-time in San Jose this season will more likely be Alyn Macauley... Macauley is due for a breakout year, finally, and with ice time usually breeds a few more points. He could be a good snake-in-the-grass, if you're trying to make your opponents go 'oooooh.'