The first big trade of the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline has been completed. The New Jersey Devils have sent two veteran forwards, Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac, to the New York Islanders in exchange for a 2021 First Round Pick, a conditional 2022 fourth-round pick, and minor leaguers A.J. Greer and Mason Jobst. The Devils will also pick up half of the remaining salaries for their two departing players, both of whom are unrestricted free agents at the end of the season.
It was expected that Palmieri would be moved as the 30-year-old had been held out of the last few Devils’ games. Adding Zajac, a 35-year-old who has spent 15 seasons with New Jersey is a bit of a surprise. Both players came into the New Jersey system when Lou Lamoriello, now the GM of the Islanders, was an executive with the Devils.
Palmieri was 10th on The Athletic’s Trade Board after the latest update in the middle of March. The deal gives the Islanders some veteran depth up front and two solid forwards that can play anywhere in the line-up.
The price the Islanders paid isn’t really that bad and may indicate it could be a buyer’s market this year. The first rounder will be a middle-to-late pick, the fourth round pick could be become a 2022 or 2023 third round pick if the Islanders make the Stanley Cup final and the two players are depth AHL’ers.
With the lack of a long juniors season the upcoming draft has a tremendous amount of uncertainty so it’s not really surprising that the Islanders would be willing to part with the pick to solidify their playoff chances. They are currently tied with the Washington Capitals for first place in the East and have a four-point lead over the third place Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Islanders may not have secured the top prize in the deadline sweepstakes, but they did pick up two players that should fit nicely into their season.
How does this affect the Lightning? Well, it really doesn’t. They weren’t in the market for either player, nor were there any players on their roster that the Islanders would have wanted to make a deal for. It could be good news for one of the Bolts former prospects as Nolan Foote might get a chance now that there are two openings on the Devils’ offensive lines.
It will make the Islanders a little more difficult to play if Tampa Bay should meet them in the third round or Eastern Conference Final. One of the advantages that the Lightning had last year was the depth of their forward lines. With the addition of Zajac and Palmieri, that gap has been narrowed.
We’ll have more on the Lightning and the trade deadline later today.
The Crunch have a pair of games this week, well as long as everything is ok with Utica. The Comets haven’t played since March 10th, but returned to practice earlier this week.
The possession numbers say the Lightning shouldn’t be losing this much. So obviously those numbers are garbage, right? Wrong. It shows that they are doing mostly the right things, they just need to tweak things just a little.
Not sure Tony DeAngelo is “thriving” right now, but the other four are okay picks.
No one rains on a parade quite like John Romano, but I really liked this headline. There is no reason to panic according to the Tampa Bay Times columnist, but there are also alarm bells ringing.
They will probably trade Taylor Hall, but Kevyn Adams could use this deadline to completely rebuild the Sabres. Elliotte Friedman explores the possibility in his latest 31 Thoughts. He also mentions that the Lightnig could be interested in David Savard.
Will that affect the Leafs plans come Monday? Only if they don’t think he will be ready for the playoffs. Toronto has a seven-point lead in the North Division with 16 games to go. No need to overreact at this point.
They are up to 25 players in protocol and the team released more information on the outbreak. There are indications that the infection was picked up in a restaurant and it’s one of the more contagious varients. As of now, the NHL is hoping they can return to play by the end of next week.