P.A. Parenteau’s been through this before.
Last year, he racked up a team-high 20 goals in Toronto. That led to predictions he’d be shipped out during the Maple Leafs’ deadline fire sale yet, when the smoke settled, Parenteau was still a Leaf.
This year, he’s continued to produce — 13 goals and 25 points through 53 games — and knows that if the Devils fall out of playoff contention, he could be subjected to another round of trade rumors.
“I went through it last year,” Parenteau said, per NorthJersey.com. “I was having a really good year and I didn’t get traded. Who knows? The market changes every year.
“I’m aware of my age, and when I sign a one-year deal like that, if the team is going to be out of playoff contention, there’s a chance I get moved.”
The 33-year-old joined the Devils after getting scooped off waivers from the Isles at the start of the campaign. There have been ups and downs in New Jersey, including a healthy scratch in mid-December, but Parenteau did said he “wants to stay” with the club, adding his priority is to “win games, and that’s the way I’m not going to get traded.”
One would think teams will kick the tires.
Parenteau carries a modest $1.3 million cap hit and Devils GM Ray Shero got out in front of the deadline last weekend, when he shipped Vern Fiddler to Nashville for a fourth-round pick.
Last year, Shero was active in selling assets for picks. He sent Lee Stempniak to Boston for a second- and fourth-rounder, then moved Eric Gelinas to Colorado for a third.
The Devils head into tonight’s action five points back of Toronto for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. But they’ve got to jump four teams to get there — the Flyers, Islanders, Panthers and Lightning — which is a tall order, to say the least.
With the Mar. 1 deadline just weeks away, Parenteau could become a popular name.
“I feel like I’m still a good player,” he said. “I feel like I have a lot to give. We’ll see where that takes me.”