Within an hour after publishing my last story–because isn’t that the way it always goes–in which I discussed Devils winger, Kyle Palmieri‘s future, the clarity I suggested was coming sooner than later. One precautionary-based scratch on Sunday later, and we all know what is to be expected before the 3 p.m. deadline a week from Monday (April 12).
Palmieri has played his last game this season in a New Jersey sweater. His agency, Bartlett Hockey, confirmed that much immediately following the decision by the Devils not to dress No. 21 in their final tilt of the season with Washington.
Can confirm that Kyle Palmieri is being held out of Devils lineup today in anticipation of a trade in the coming days or week(s).
Arriving to the Devils in 2015-16 by way of a draft day trade from Anaheim for a pair of picks, the Montville, N.J. native more than doubled his career-high in goals, scoring 30 in his first year with the Devils. And here’s a win-win for you: the Devils gamble on making a secondary offensive weapon on a then-stacked Ducks roster into a primary source in a contract year. Palmieri would ink a five-year, $23.25 million extension in his home state.
That contract coming to an end this season, Palmieri’s next destination and goal should involve the Stanley Cup. The Bruins, Islanders, Penguins have all been mentioned as potentially interested parties. Minnesota, Tampa Bay and Vegas have scouted the Devils as of late. Minnesota is looking to add something to its offense during what has been a surprisingly successful season. You know friends from Pittsburgh, Tom Fitzgerald and Bill Guerin will talk.
Now one week away from the deadline and four more games for the Devils before Monday, it appears they may be closer to making a deal and sitting out Palmieri to avoid anything catastrophic to his trade value (i.e. an injury) is a confirmation of that.
The Devils have collected some assets over the last few deadline’s, playing the unenviable role of sellers. Palmieri is unlikely to be the only piece sold, but looks to be the focus right now. Eric Staal was sent to Montreal for a third and fifth rounder. This odd season has proven to stump both veteran forwards–Staal has 10 points in 32 games after having 47 in 66 with the Wild last season. Palmieri, 17 points in 34 games had 45 in 65 a season ago. But how much do teams value right-shot winger with a scoring pedigree and playoff experience–mostly with Anaheim, but included a run to the Western Conference final?
Does Fitzgerald ultimately let this drag out as long as possible, thus lowering Palmieri’s cap hit and ostensibly upping the value for cap-strapped teams that might not be able to take on other available scorers including Taylor Hall. Is a first still on the table?
Again, we’re getting closer to some clarity on all of this real soon.