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Steve Sullivan won't be available for the Devils tonight, instead traveling to New Jersey to undergo a routine physical and "get situated." While coach Pete DeBoer doesn't know exactly where he'll use Sullivan at this point, he's still a longtime admirer of the veteran winger -- and he's not the only one.

Via Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice:

“I’ve always been a fan of is,” DeBoer said this morning in Boston, where the Devils will take on the Bruins tonight. “He’ll give us some speed, an offensive guy. I’ve got to try and find him some chemistry and with Kovy out I think he’ll be a nice burst of offense, hopefully, for us.”


Devils left wing Patik Elias said his first linemates when he joined the Albany River Rats in 1995-96 were Sullivan and Scott Pellerin. When I asked him if they were a good line, Elias replied, “The best line. We dominated.”


“Just skilled,” Elias said in describing the kind of player Sullivan is. “You saw the way he was (last season) in Pittsburgh. He’s a skilled player. He makes great plays, skates well. He’s great with the puck.”

This is obviously team-friendly spin and I'd expect nothing less from two people as steeped in the Devils' M.O. as Elias and DeBoer. The question is where "spin" meets reality and how that translate into on-ice production. DeBoer doesn't know where he'll use Sullivan, but I'd guess a third-line role, possibly in place of a guy like Matt D'Agostini, who hasn't really added much other than speed since joining the Devils' lineup. It's possible he could move up top to play alongside Andrei Loktionov until Ilya Kovalchuk returns but I don't know if I buy that as a good idea. I like Elias with Loktionov and a big, physical grinder on the right side -- a guy like Steve Bernier or David Clarkson. Perhaps you could put Sullivan on the second line with Travis Zajac, but I think he'd fit really well on the third line with Dainius Zubrus and Adam Henrique. You get a nice balance of skill and size, with some playmaking from both Henrique and Sullivan. When Kovy returns, it gives DeBoer the flexibility to move Clarkson, Bernier and Sullivan around the other three lines.

What do you think? Where would you play Sullivan?

Tags: DAVID CLARKSON, ADAM HENRIQUE, Steve Sullivan, Trade Deadline, TRAVIS ZAJAC, Matt D'Agostini, Devs, Devils, Steve Bernier, Andrei Loktionov, New Jersey Devils
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