The New Jersey Devils today announced that they agreed to terms with former Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey. The contract is a one-year, one-way deal worth a modest $1.25 million.
Honestly, this is as good as it’s going to get for Kyle Quincey who is thirty-one years old and entering his ninth season in the NHL. He played the last three full seasons for Detroit and didn’t crack twenty points once. Last season, he finished last amongst Red Wings defensemen in CF% with 48.79%.
Quincey actually began his career in Detroit. He was drafted by the Red Wings in the 4th round (132nd overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Level Draft. He split time between Detroit and Grand Rapids until 2008 when he was claimed off the waiver wire by the Los Angeles Kings. That offseason, the Kings traded Quincey to the Colorado Avalanche, where he played the following two full seasons.
The Red Wings re-acquired him in 2011-12 on trade deadline day when he was traded from Colorado to Tampa Bay for Steve Downie, and then from Tampa Bay to Detroit for a first round draft pick in 2012. You may be wondering how the Tampa Bay Lightning managed to get a first round draft pick for him. I am too.
Quincey was best known by fans for his awesome beard, which made its first appearance two seasons ago, rivalling Henrik Zetterberg for the team’s greatest beard. Unfortunately for him, Quincey’s name doesn’t lend itself well to a good beard pun, so Zetterberg held on to the title.
In all seriousness, Quincey has had a long career in the NHL and brings all kinds of experience to a young Devils locker room. This is a very low-risk signing by the team, which had the cap space to hold a veteran defenseman who will log bottom-4 minutes all season. Quincey knows how to play a smart game. We saw flashes of it in Detroit, but his lack of consistency and awareness on the ice is ultimately what gave him a negative light in the eyes of fans.
We knew before last season was out that Quincey’s time in Detroit was coming to an end, so let this be our official farewell to him.