The Devils then signed Gusev to a two-year, $9 million contract. New Jersey is taking a risk here, but it’s one that could pay off big. Although Gusev is 27-years-old and has no NHL experience, he has proven himself as a star in the KHL. He scored 17 goals and 82 points in 62 games with St. Petersburg SKA last season. He has the potential to be a great top-six forward. Like Gusev, the 2019-20 Devils have a lot of uncertainty, but also a ton of promise.
The Golden Knights, who are in a salary-cap crunch, sought to move Gusev when the two sides were far apart on contract talks. According to a report from The Athletic, the Golden Knights and Gusev were about $2 million apart in contract negotiations, with Vegas reportedly offering $2 million per season and Gusev seeking $4 million per year.
New Jersey has had the best offseason by a mile.