Sports Islanders acquire Palmieri, Zajac from Devils for Cup run
Top Five Trade Destinations for Kyle Palmieri
The Devils pulled Palmieri from their lineup Sunday in anticipation for a deal, so it's all but guaranteed that he gets moved before the April-12 deadline. Which teams are the best fits? © Provided by Hockey News on Sports Illustrated Kyle Palmieri averaged 30 goals annually across his first five seasons as a New Jersey Devil. Soon, he’ll bring that scoring touch to the right wing for a new team. It’s all but written at this point after the Devils held him out of Sunday’s game for precautionary reasons in preparation of trading him between now and the April-12 deadline.
EAST MEADOW, N.Y. — The New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils are seemingly becoming trading partners at the NHL deadline.
For the second straight year, the New York City metropolitan-area rivals worked out a deal for the young and developing Devils to send an experienced player to the Islanders for their playoff push for a Stanley Cup.
Last year, it was veteran defenceman Andy Greene. The Devils shipped right wing Kyle Palmieri and two-way centre Travis Zajac to the Island on Wednesday for New York's first-round pick this year, a conditional fourth-round choice next year and forwards A.J. Greer and Mason Jobst.
Devils set sights on rebuilding in wake of departing talent
BUFFALO, N.Y. — The harsh reality of the Devils being resigned to finish out the season with little to play for hit home for defenceman Damon Severson in the wake of New Jersey trading key forwards Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac to the New York Islanders. “It obviously (stinks) the position that we’re in in the standings and the way the season has gone,” Severson said Thursday, a day after the trade was completed. “I think guys understand where we’re at. We understand we’re in a rebuild a little bit here. And hopefully we can speed that up.
The move before Monday's trade deadline is not surprising. Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello led the Devils to three Cups and Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald was at Providence when Lamoriello was the athletic director.
“I feel my relationship with Lou is extremely strong, there’s a trust factor between the both of us and that’s important to Lou and it’s very important to me,” Fitzgerald said. “Last year we were dealing with same thing ... there are players that Lou values on our team, for obvious reasons. For me, players want to play for Lou, especially his ex-players and I think that’s important through all this and Travis was no different. He knows what the environment’s going to be, he knows what the expectations will be.”
New Jersey will pay half of Zajac and Palmieri’s salaries.
McLeod, Palmieri score in New Jersey's 4-3 win over Flyers
PHILADELPHIA — The Flyers' late surge came up short against New Jersey. They can only hope they have the gas needed to go the distance in their sputtering playoff push. Michael McLeod, Kyle Palmieri, Yegor Sharangovich and Travis Zajac scored and the Devils beat Philadelphia 4-3 on Tuesday night. “It didn’t seem like we had a lot in the tank,” Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said. The Devils have won four of five games. “Guys are starting to feel confident with what we are trying to do," McLeod said. "Everyone seems like they are clicking the last couple of games.” Not so in Philadelphia.
The Islanders are tied with Washington atop the East Division, with third-place Pittsburgh four poiints back. New York is 9-4-0 since losing captain Anders Lee to a torn ACL in a game against New Jersey on March 11.
Palmieri, who has not played since last weekend and will be a free agent after this season, gives the Islanders a proven goal scorer to help with Anders Lee out for the season with a knee injury. The 30-year-old Long Island native has scored at least 24 goals in each of his first five seasons with the Devils. He got off to a slow start this year and has eight in 34 games.
Video: Week 11 roundup of the NHL's North Division (cbc.ca)
“It’s been a bit of a crazy week, starting with the scratch Sunday," Palmieri said. "When I heard the Islanders were an option, I couldn’t have been more excited. Little bit of anxiety waiting for that call, but difficult to contain my excitement.”
Bruins rally for 5-4 shootout win over Devils
BOSTON — Charlie Coyle and David Pastrnak each scored in the shootout, and the Boston Bruins rallied for a 5-4 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy, Nick Ritchie and Matt Grzelcyk scored in regulation for the Bruins, who rallied with two goals in the final 9:38 of the third period. Jaroslav Halak stopped 31 shots. “Sometimes it's not going to be pretty, sometimes you're going to make mistakes, but it shows the character that we have,” Coyle said. “Every point is crucial from here on out.” Kyle Palmieri, Travis Zajac, Miles Wood and Michael McLeod each had a goal for the Devils, who are 4-0-2 against Boston this season.
Zajac, who has spent his whole career with the Devils, recently playing in his 1000th regular-season game. The 35-year-old can do everything, from winning faceoff, scoring and killing penalties.
“I think at this point I wanted a chance to win," Zajac said. "I believe this is the team that has all the aspects of a winner. I want to help them in any way possible. For me it was the right time. I was fortunate to have such a great career in New Jersey, tons of great people.”
Zajac had a no-trade contract that had to be waived, Fitzgerald said.
"The value he brought to the organization was very high but if he thought if I can have one kick out of it, maybe this is it. So we worked together on this,” Fitzgerald said.
Jobst was the Islanders first round pick in 2021 NHL.
Greer is currently playing with Bridgeport of the AHL, where he has one goal and one assist in 10 games. In 37 career NHL contests, the 24-year-old left wing has one goal and five assists.
New Jersey now has nine picks in the 2021 NHL draft. The club has its own picks in rounds one, three, four and six; the Islanders first and second rounders; Buffalo’s fifth-round pick and Arizona’s third and seventh-round selections.
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The Associated Press
Maple Leafs acquire Riley Nash from Blue Jackets for draft pick .
The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for a conditional seventh-round selection in 2022. Nash is expected to miss four to six weeks with a sprained knee, meaning he essentially is a playoff pickup for the Maple Leafs. If he plays in 25% of the Maple Leafs’ playoff games this season, the seventh-round selection will become a sixth-rounder. The veteran forward will likely be put on long-term injured reserve through the end of the season, meaning his cap hit is basically irrelevant to the Maple Leafs.