Kyle Palmieri Held out of Devils' Lineup; Trade Anticipated Before 2021 Deadline

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIApril 4, 2021

New Jersey Devils right wing Kyle Palmieri (21) skates with the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders Saturday, March 13, 2021, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri is being held out of the lineup in hopes the team can trade him prior to the April 12 trade deadline, his agency confirmed Sunday. 

Palmieri is in the final year of the five-year, $23.25 million deal he signed in restricted free agency in 2016. 

In mid-March, Palmieri's agent, Brian Bartlett, told Corey Masisak of The Athletic that he and Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald had talked about Palmieri's contract situation, but the conversations were "more theoretical in nature."   

"I don’t think there is any doubt that we want to keep him," Fitzgerald said in March. "Everybody in our organization loves Kyle Palmieri, respects what he’s done for this organization over the past five, six years. I wouldn’t be talking to (Bartlett) if I didn’t think that. I wouldn’t even waste my breath." 

Despite that, the Devils' decision to move on from the assistant captain represents a trend that has plagued the franchise since he joined them five years ago. According to Masisak, the Devils have not signed a player who is set to hit the open market before the trade deadline in the past five seasons, instead trading them as they continue to rebuild. 

The 30-year-old has 17 points (8 goals, 9 assists) through 34 games for the Devils, who are just 13-16-6 and ahead of just the Buffalo Sabres (8-23-6) in the East Division. 

While he has a no-trade clause that consists of eight teams, Palmieri told Masisak he would consider waiving it for the right opportunity, which may be a choice he'll have to make over the coming weeks.