In spite of the fact that the New Jersey Devils are having themselves another rather underwhelming season, it sounds like one of their forwards is going to be among the top targets at the National Hockey League's trade deadline.
The name of veteran winger Kyle Palmieri has been in the rumor mill quite a bit in recent days but there have been serious questions about whether or not the Devils would even consider trading him as there have also been rumblings of a potential contract extension between the two sides. On Saturday however things changed quite a bit when an update courtesy of NHL insider Pierre LeBrun appeared to suggest that those talks had failed to bear any fruit.
"You never know how these things go at the 11th hour, but my gut feeling is there won't be an extension. I see a trade coming," admitted LeBrun on Saturday.
No contract extension from the Devils would almost guarantee that Palmieri would be moved ahead of the deadline, with multiple teams believed to have already shown interest. Although in theory Palmieri could be dealt to any of the Stanley Cup hopefuls entering the playoffs this season, veteran NHL reporter Arthur Staple recently analyzed which teams make the most sense. Staples, arguably the best New York Islanders insider in the game, was recently discussing the potential fit in Long Island for Palmieri when he mentioned 3 other teams that could also be involved.
The Bruins have enough cap space to make that deal work and a need for a scoring wing like Palmieri; the Penguins, who don’t have Trader Jim Rutherford at the helm anymore but have turned their season around enough to warrant an addition, also could use a player like Palmieri.
The Leafs might get in there, too, but would need Kyle Dubas to maneuver around the cap.
Interestingly enough all of the teams mentioned here have a level of familiarity with one another and all of them would likely have interest in acquiring Palmieri even if it meant simply preventing one of the other 3 teams from doing so themselves. If both LeBrun and Staples are correct here than Palmieri will be traded sooner rather than later, but it sounds like it may come at a heavy price for the team that gets the deal done.