Shero considers claiming Niemi in the hopes of guaranteeing another lottery pick

The Elbow staff

 Niemi doing his best impersonation of a professional hockey player earlier this season. Image source:  Pittsburgh Penguins twitter

Niemi doing his best impersonation of a professional hockey player earlier this season. Image source: Pittsburgh Penguins twitter

NEWARK, NJ – This fast start may not be exactly what New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero had in mind before the season.

Speaking exclusively with The Elbow on Monday afternoon, the former Penguins GM said he had his sights set on yet another high draft pick in the upcoming summer, however after his team's 6-2-0 start, Shero has had to consider ways in which he could encourage a drop in the standings.

"We're well ahead of schedule," Shero said about his team's rebuild. "However we'd still love to add one of the top defencemen who'll be available at next year's draft, but there's no way we do it at this current rate."

"So we may have to get smart about the lineup we ice from night to night."

Getting smart, Shero said, could easily be done by claiming Antti Niemi off waivers from Pittsburgh and giving him as much ice time as humanly possible.

"We've thought long and hard about that option."

"I know it'd be pretty cruel to give him more than one start ever again in this league, but this is a cutthroat business," he said. "You look at his three starts with the Penguins this year, and that sort of output would all but guarantee us a great pick in June."

At press time, it was revealed that the Devils had also made contact with Marty Turco and Dan Cloutier, but decided that both retired goalies would give the Devils more of a chance at winning than the Finn.

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