New Jersey Devils: Should They Keep Or Trade Kyle Palmieri?

(Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images) /

In a new series, Pucks and Pitchforks will go through each and every player tied to trade rumors, seeing if they should stay or go as the playoffs become more and more unlikely. We start with one of their leaders, Kyle Palmieri.

Kyle Palmieri is a leader for the New Jersey Devils. He’s the best shot on the team, and one of the few scoring options still left. Since the Devils traded a pair of draft picks for him in 2015, he’s scored 122 goals and has 232 points. He’s been a very good player, and has been consistently a top-line player.

Palmieri still has a year left after this one on his contract, paying him $4.25 million ($4.65 against the salary cap). This is a very desirable contract for just about every team in the league. The fact that he’s not a rental will make most teams interested.

So, if this is such a deal, why would the Devils even consider moving Kyle Palmieri? Well, for one he’s going to get the Devils a very good return. Teams are willing to pay for players with term, and Palmieri is a proven scorer. He could even get the Devils a 1st-round pick this year, in what’s been lauded as a great draft. Teams might even be willing to give up more.

Also, there’s the fear that Palmieri’s timeline doesn’t fit with the Devils timeline. If the team thinks that they’re more than two years away, then they could see value in trading him now before having to send him off as a rental, severely hurting his value in the process.

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One must take emotions out of the process, and look at this from a cost-value proportion. The Devils decided against trading anyone with term last season, and GM Ray Shero said he didn’t even consider it. Fans have to be ready for that philosophy to change, because without a head coach in place and Shero’s moves to “go for it” blowing up in his face, anything is on the table before the trade deadline.

Still, Palmieri seems like the type of player that can do what he’s doing for a long time. His game isn’t predicated on speed, and even if he loses a few MPH on his shot, his accuracy is whats’ going to keep him a 30-goal threat well into his 30s. He’ll turn 29 on February 1st, so even if the Devils give him a five-year extension, it doesn’t pay him past the age of 35.

This one seems easy. Palmieri might be a candidate to take over as captain of the team. The other team would have to blow the socks off of Shero to get Palmieri out of New Jersey before the trade deadline. Palms isn’t going to be a name Shero ever dangles, but one teams constantly call about. He could get an insane return, but if he doesn’t, the Devils need to hold on to him at all costs.