The New Jersey Devils, with pending free agents Zach Parise and Martin Brodeur still unsigned, have agreed to terms with five players, including the entire fourth line that was one of the many surprises during the club's run to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Steve Bernier, Ryan Carter and Stephen Gionta combined for 10 goals and 21 assists during the playoffs and was the only group that remained intact while head coach Peter DeBoer sometimes juggled his lines from game-to-game. Carter scored five goals, Gionta netted three and Bernier added two. Bernier, however, may be best-remembered for taking a major boarding penalty in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, setting up a Los Angeles power play that scored three times in the Kings' 6-1 clinching victory.
In addition to Bernier, Carter and Gionta, the Devils also re-signed forward Cam Janssen and defenseman Peter Harrold.
Terms of the deals were not disclosed.
Bernier, in his first season with the Devils, appeared in 32 regular-season games and compiled one goal with five assists for six points. The 27-year-old veteran has 77 goals and 165 points in 417 regular-season games with San Jose, Buffalo, Vancouver, Florida and New Jersey.
Carter notched four goals and four assists in 72 regular-season games. He was claimed off waivers from Florida last October and has 18 goals with 25 assists for 43 points in 254 games with Anaheim, Carolina, Florida and New Jersey.
Gionta didn't appear in a regular-season game for New Jersey until the finale when he scored his first NHL goal, then did not miss a postseason contest. The brother of former Devil Brian Gionta will enter his seventh season in the New Jersey organization and is the AHL Devils' all-time leader with 56 goals, 135 points and 360 games played.
Janssen had one assist and 75 penalty minutes in 48 regular-season games for New Jersey, but did not appear in the postseason. He has three goals and 11 points with 750 penalty minutes in 308 career games for New Jersey and St. Louis.
Harrold was in and out of the Devils' playoff lineup, appearing in 17 games. He notched four assists in the playoffs after posting two assists in 11 games during the regular season.