by David Pavlak on 01/16/13 at 04:20 PM ET
The New Jersey Devils have announced that they have signed Travis Zajac to an eight-year, 46-million dollar extension according to Lou Lamoriello.
Tom Gulitti of The Record reports that Lamoriello and Zajac had been working on the deal during the lockout.
Zajac was scheduled to make $4.8 million this season (that number will be pro-rated for 48 games) in the final year of a four-year, $15.55 million contract he signed as a restricted free agent in 2009.
Lamoriello said the sides were working on the extension for Zajac before the lockout began and completed it this week.
Gulitti wrote in an earlier article how Zajac will need to step up his production on the ice without Zach Parise and Petr Sykora back with the team.
Now, Zajac is being looked to as one of the players to pick up the goal-scoring slack created by Parise’s departure and management’s decision not to re-sign Petr Sykora. That’s 52 goals – 31 for Parise and 21 from Sykora – lost from last season’s squad just between those two players.
“I think I’m definitely capable of it, but, saying that, it’s going to have to be a collective group in here that picks up those big shoes that Zach and Sykie left,” Zajac said. “It’s going to have to be a group effort, not one or two guys doing it all themselves.”
Last season, Zajac was only able to play in 15 games as he battled the injury bug. Prior to the 2011-12 season, Zajac appeared in all 82 games for the past four seasons. His best production year came in 2009-10 when he finished with 67 points (25 G, 42 A).
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