The Devils traded veteran defenceman Vladimir Malakhov to the Sharks on Sunday. ((Bruce Bennett/Getty Images))

Needing to gain valuable salary cap space, the New Jersey Devils traded defenceman Vladimir Malakhov and a conditional first-round draft pick to the San Jose Sharks on Sunday.

In return, the Devils receive defenceman Jim Fahey and the rights to left-winger Alexander Korolyuk.

With Malakhov gone, New Jersey sheds his $3.6-million US salary from their payroll.

General manager Lou Lamoriello would not say whether the Devils will have to make more moves before they open the season on Friday in Carolina in order to get under the league's $44-million salary cap.

The Devils were pushed over the cap limit this summer when they signed forward Patrik Elias to a seven-year, $42-million contract — $7.5 million this season — and centre Scott Gomez was awarded $5 million by an arbitrator.

Korolyuk, 30,scored 19 goals and added 15 assists in 45 games for Vityaz Chekhov in Russia last year. He last played in the NHL for the Sharks in 2003-04.

Fahey has two assists in 21 games for the Sharks last season.

Malakhov, 38,scored four goals and five assists in 29 games with the Devils in 2005-06.