Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/26/13
The Devils have finally re-signed free agent center Adam Henrique whose return never seemed to be in question despite summer-long negotiations. The contract is for six years and $24 million. "I had no problem signing a long-term deal" Henrique said today. "I've loved it in New Jersey so far. The organization has been great to me and my family. It's a place I want to stay and play in for a number of years so the length was important to me." Back on July 18 Henrique told The Star-Ledger he wasn't worried about getting the deal done. However negotiations were impacted while former Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek remained in financial trouble. Vanderbeek ultimately sold the club which gave GM Lou Lamoriello more freedom in signing Henrique and put the skater's mind at ease. "Yes. Once we knew (the sale of the team) was coming along to where it was going to be completed that was important" Henrique said. "Once it was finished there was a good feeling. I'm glad it was all resolved. I'm here for the future. That's why I wanted a long-term deal." Lamoriello said: "It was a matter of the length and terms which we worked out and he's a Devil. I can't say (the ownership situation) did or didn't figure in the delay in getting it done. Only the player can tell you that. I can say new ownership has been tremendously supportive of doing everything the right way." Negotiations came down to either a two-year deal or the six-year contract Henrique accepted over the weekend. Henrique 23 figures to be a key player for the Devils who lost some goal-scoring in the offseason when David Clarkson signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ilya Kovalchuk returned to Russia to play in the KHL. "To lose a couple of guys like that is tough" Henrique said. "We have to move forward. I think Mr. Lamoriello and the coaching staff has done a great job this summer of bringing the right guys in. You can't really replace those guys like with Zach (Parise) last year. "It's going to have to be a team effort. It's going to be a collective battle to fill those holes. I think we're going to have a great team this year. We want to rebound from last year and not making the playoffs. I'm looking forward to getting things started. Hopefully I'll score a lot of goals. Obviously that's part of my game."
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