In January, Devils GM Ray Shero said there was a “very good” chance pending RFA Kyle Palmieri would stick in New Jersey.
Now, Shero is all but guaranteeing it.
“We’ll get him signed,” is what Shero said at Monday’s GMs meetings in Florida, per NHL.com.
Palmieri, 25, has enjoyed a breakout campaign in his first year back in New Jersey. A Montvale native, he’s notched a career-high 25 goals and 45 points this season, making good on the pedigree that saw Anaheim take him in the first round — 26th overall — of the 2009 draft.
Stuck behind a glut of quality offensive players with the Ducks, Palmieri never enjoyed the expanded role he’s currently filling with the Devils. His TOI per game has jumped to 17:03 per night — compare that with his previous high of 14:03 in Anaheim — and his 25 goals put him ahead of the likes of Jonathan Toews, Max Pacioretty and James Neal on the NHL leaderboard.
“I don’t want to put a timetable on it or take Kyle’s eye off the ball here in terms of how he’s playing,” Shero said of contract talks back in January. “When you trade for someone like him, that’s what you’re looking to add to your team and I think it’s been a good fit for him and for us.”
Negotiations do promise to be interesting.
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 that would take him beyond when he’d be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2018.”
One would assume he’s in line for a tidy raise, but the term will be interesting. 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.
It’s also worth noting Palmieri has arbitration rights, though it sounds like Shero and the Devils don’t want to go that route.