The past year could end up being one of the very best of Kyle Palmieri’s career.
Since being acquired by the Devils from the Ducks, Palmieri, 25, has had the breakout that Anaheim had been waiting for, potting 30 goals and 57 points in 82 games this past season in New Jersey. Palmieri parlayed his huge year into a five-year, $23.25-million contract in early July, and now he’s turned his biggest season into a chance to play alongside the best American players at the World Cup.
Palmieri was officially announced as the replacement for injured Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Callahan, who underwent surgery in late-June to repair a labral tear in his right hip.
“Kyle brings an all-around game that we’re confident will fit nicely with the framework we’re looking to build,” said Team USA GM Dean Lombardi in a release. “He’s coming off an outstanding year in New Jersey and will play an important role with our team.” Read more
There’s still nearly three months until the NHL campaign opens, which will leave the league’s 30 teams with ample time to tune and tweak their rosters as opening night approaches.
However, a few teams have made big splashes this off-season. Some have gotten creative, such as the Arizona Coyotes and Florida Panthers, by trading for a player’s exclusive negotiating rights to ink them to a deal before free agency opened, while others have gone the more traditional route, like the Boston Bruins, who shelled out a five-year, $30-million deal to David Backes.
Meanwhile, some clubs have gone the trade route, with the New Jersey Devils and Edmonton Oilers and the Montreal Canadiens and Nashville Predators linking up to make one-for-one deals that both teams hope will improve their situations going forward.
And though there are still a number of free agents who could sign and make a difference next season, the biggest names are off the market. So here are the five off-season moves that have been made (so far) that will have the biggest impact this coming season: Read more
Calling anything the goal of the year or best deke of the season would be premature given the campaign is still months away from beginning, but New Jersey Devils prospect Joey Dudek will at the very least be a contender when ranking the most brilliant shootout moves of 2016-17.
Dudek, 20, was participating at Devils development camp in what appears to be a shootout drill when he pulled an absolutely awesome move. Or, should we say set of moves.
In what looked like he was trying to fit every deke possible into his shootout opportunity, Dudek went forehand-backhand, dipped his shoulder to fake back forehand, did a Pavel Datsyuk-style toe drag and slammed the puck home while falling to the ice. Check it out: Read more
Ryane Clowe’s playing days aren’t officially over — he’s still technically a member of the Devils’ roster — but the gritty winger has already moved on to the next phase of his career, accepting a job to step behind the bench with New Jersey coach John Hynes next season.
The Devils announced Tuesday that Clowe, 33, will join Hynes, Geoff Ward, Alain Nasreddine and Chris Terreri as one of New Jersey’s bench bosses for the upcoming campaign. For Clowe, who scored 112 goals and 309 points in 491 NHL games, this won’t be his first foray into coaching. During the 2015-16 season, he spent time working closely with the Devils staff and he told Devils All-Access’ Julie Robenhymer that he spent a brief time coaching in ECHL San Francisco during the 2012-13 lockout.
“We are looking forward to Ryane joining our staff,” said Hynes. “His character, expertise as a player, knowledge of the game and passion to coach will be a benefit for our players and the Devils’ organization.” Read more
Patrik Elias started his career as a Devil and he will end it as a Devil. The only question is whether his final game with New Jersey came in April or if that farewell contest is yet to come.
Elias, 40, is still unsure about his future with the team. The veteran winger, who scored one goal and three points in the final game of the Devils season, underwent off-season knee surgery after missing 45 games with a knee injury this past campaign and New Jersey GM Ray Shero said the plan is simply to monitor Elias’ progress while waiting for a decision.
“Once he starts getting the green light to start ramping up his training off ice, we’ll see where that takes him and certainly when he gets back on ice, if it’s going to be later in the summer, we’ll see where that goes,” Shero told NJ.com’s Chris Ryan. “And his body will tell him or his knee will tell him how he feels, and we’ll be in constant communication with Patrik.” Read more
Status: Former NHL defenseman from 1983-1992 for Minnesota, New Jersey, and Quebec. Currently serves as a high school hockey coach for Morristown Beard School in New Jersey. Also serves as the hockey director at Twin Oaks Ice Rink in Morristown, NJ.
Ht: 6-foot Wt: 200 pounds
DOB: February 10, 1962 In: Montreal
First Hockey Memory: “Skating on the lake before the snow. And be able to keep going without stopping, hours on end, chasing a puck around the ice. Up in northern Quebec.”
Hockey Inspirations: “I’d have to say Larry Robinson, Guy Lafleur, Bob Gainey. Three very classy players. I was a Montreal Canadiens fan. They were the best hockey team in the 1970s. When they lost I used to cry.”
The New Jersey Devils have locked down their leading scorer from 2015-16, giving right winger Kyle Palmieri a five-year contract worth an average of $4.65 million per season. Palmieri, who was raised in New Jersey, put up 30 goals and 57 points for the Devils, but now the pressure is on to repeat and even surpass that. Luckily, the U.S. NTDP product will have some more help this time.
It’s early July, so obviously there’s another important day coming up on the hockey calendar. Coming up next: the deadline for restricted free agents to file for arbitration, which is on the docket for Tuesday.
This will likely be a procedural day for many players because so few actually end up going the full distance in arbitration, but one thing it will do is tell us which players will definitely be in uniform for their teams at the start of training camp in the fall. That’s because arbitration forces a ruling on both sides, meaning the player is under contract for either one or two more seasons.