Mike Halford

New Jersey Devils' Kyle Palmieri (21) celebrates his first of two goals in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Devils want 30-goal man Palmieri to ink long-term deal

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Kyle Palmieri‘s first year in New Jersey was terrific — he led the club in nearly every major offensive category — and now, the Devils are making it clear they want Palmieri for the long haul.

“I look forward to signing him to a longer term contract, if that’s possible,” GM Ray Shero said, per NJ Advance Media. “If that’s not possible he has arbitration rights. We’re going to get a contract one way or another.”

Palmieri, a Montvale native, enjoyed a breakout campaign in his first year back in New Jersey. The 25-year-old he’s notched a career-high 30 goals and 57 points this season, making good on the pedigree that saw Anaheim take him in the first round — 26th overall — of the 2009 draft.

In speaking to PHT back in January, Shero said one of the reasons he acquired Palmieri from the Ducks last summer is because of his contractual status. Palmieri’s a Group 2 free agent, meaning that — while he does have arbitration rights — he’s still a club-controlled player, so the Devils have a fair bit of authority over how the contractual situation plays out.

Shero re-explained as much this week.

“That was one of the reasons for trading for Kyle,” he said. “He’s not only a good young player but one we can hold for a couple of years.”

Palmieri’s in the last of a three-year, $4.4 million deal with a $1.46M cap hit and, per NorthJersey, he’s “open to signing a long-term extension.” It’s a given the Devils will have to fork out some cash to buy UFA years — Palmieri can become one in the summer of 2018 — and that’s something Shero has shown a willingness to do.

Last summer, Shero inked d-man Adam Larsson to a six-year, $25 million extension, his first major contract extension since coming aboard as GM.

Related: Devils will re-sign leading scorer Palmieri

Video: Tavares, Ovechkin, Kane star in Goals of the Week


Some serious star power on display in this week’s edition.

Flyers’ Medvedev arrested on suspicion of DUI

Evgeny Medvedev, Travis Zajac

Philadelphia blueliner Evgeny Medvedev was arrested early Wednesday for suspicion of driving under the influence, police have confirmed to NBCPhiladelphia.


Lower Moreland Police Chief Pete Hasson tells NBC10 Medvedev was stopped for a traffic violation around 2:45 a.m. along Byberry Road in Lower Moreland.

The officer then arrested the 33-year-old Russian national for suspicion of driving under the influence, Hasson said.

Charges have not been filed in the case. Hanson said police are awaiting toxicology results. Medvedev has since been released from police custody.

Medvedev just wrapped his first year with the Flyers — and in the NHL — after a lengthy pro career in Russia. He was a fairly regular lineup presence in the first half but had his role reduced as the season went along, and ended up appearing in just 45 games.

Medvedev was then a healthy scratch for all of Philadelphia’s opening-round playoff series against the Capitals.

He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Banged-up Isles rule out Bailey for Game 1

SUNRISE, FL - APRIL 22: Josh Bailey #12 of the New York Islanders attempts to gain control of th epic as he skates next to Goaltender Roberto Luongo #1 of the Florida Panthers during third period action in Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the BB&T Center on April 22, 2016 in Sunrise, Florida. The Islanders defeated the Panthers 2-1 in double overtime. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
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The New York Islanders have survived a number of key injuries this postseason — which is good, because they’ll need to keep doing it.

On Wednesday, head coach Jack Capuano officially ruled forward Josh Bailey out for Game 1 of the club’s second-round series against Tampa Bay. Bailey, who suffered an upper-body injury in Game 6 of the Florida series, didn’t travel with the Isles and his status remains uncertain.

The loss will sting on two fronts.

One, Bailey was  a regular presence in New York’s lineup this season, playing in a career-high 81 games (scoring 32 points, while averaging just under 16 minutes per night). In Round 1, Bailey’s ice time crept up past the 16 minute mark — thanks in large part to all the OT that was played — though he only managed to muster one assist.

Two, as mentioned above, the Isles were pretty banged up before this happened.

Jaroslav Halak‘s out with a groin problem. Mikhail Grabovski‘s still dealing with concussion issues. Anders Lee has a broken leg, and Ryan Pulock suffered a series-ending upper-body injury against the Panthers.

Given all these health issues, it wasn’t surprising to see Capuano pass on announcing his lineup for tonight’s game.

Vanek knows buyout could happen, but still believes he’s a 30-goal scorer

BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 19:  Thomas Vanek #26 of the Minnesota Wild looks on during the first period against the Boston Bruinsat TD Garden on November 19, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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The Wild had their end-of-year media interviews on Wednesday, which meant Thomas Vanek — the oft-criticized winger that missed all of the playoffs with broken ribs — was asked to address his future.

Vanek, heading into the last of a three-year, $19.5 million deal with a $6.5M cap hit, acknowledged he could be bought out the final season of his contract.

But he also made it clear he wants to stay in Minnesota, and vowed to perform better than this year, when he scored a career-low 18 goals.

To call Vanek’s time in Minnesota a disappointment would be an understatement. Expectations were sky high when he inked in the summer of 2014 — Vanek, who lives in Stillwater and played two years at the University of Minnesota, said the homecoming was “beyond my wildest dreams.”

There was hope the return to Minny would spark Vanek after a tumultuous ’13-14 campaign in which he was traded twice — once from the Sabres to the Isles, then from the Isles to the Habs — and struggled through a lackluster postseason with Montreal.

But the spark never happened.

Instead, Vanek looked like a guy that was on the back-nine of his career. He scored 21 goals in his first year with the Wild, only to disappear in the playoffs (no goals in 10 games). There was also the distraction of his ties to an illegal gambling ring.

This year, he was made a healthy scratch on a few occasions — by both Mike Yeo and John Torchetti — and didn’t play at all in the postseason.

If Wild GM Chuck Fletcher intends to shake up a team that got bounced in the first playoff round after consecutive Round 2 appearances, getting rid of Vanek might be a good place to start. It would trim some money from the cap — important, given the Wild are hovering right around the ceiling — and open up a roster spot at forward.

Related: GM Fletcher ‘not on any hot seat’ with Wild owner