NHL Rumor Mill – June 18, 2020

by | Jun 18, 2020 | Rumors | 13 comments

The latest on Kyle Palmieri, a busy off-season faces Sabres new GM Kevyn Adams and a brief note on Chris Tanev in today’s NHL rumor mill.


New Jersey Devils winger Kyle Palmieri (Photo via NHL Images).

NORTHJERSEY.COM/NJ.COM: Nick Gantaifis and Randy Miller report Kyle Palmieri hopes to remain part of the New Jersey Devils’ rebuilding plans. The 29-year-old winger is a year away from becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Without a doubt,” Palmieri said Tuesday in a media conference call. “I do love being in New Jersey. I love being close to home. And I have a ton of belief in this organization moving forward as to what we’re building, and I hope to be a part of it.”

Gantaifis notes Palmieri and the Devils might ordinarily open contract extension talks on July 1. Given the uncharacteristic and premature start to the off-season, that target date remains uncertain.

It’s a big unknown,” Palmieri said. “Obviously, the calendar and important dates haven’t really been set yet. There’s so much up in the air and so much to figure out as far as the return to play and figuring all that stuff out.”

Miller suggests Chris Kreider would be a good comparable for Palmieri. The New York Rangers winger signed a seven-year, $45.5 million extension in February. Both are the same age and have roughly similar stats. Kreider’s averaged 23 goals and 46 points over the past five seasons, while Palmieri’s averaged 26 goals and 50 points since 2015-16.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kreider is a fair comparison for Palmieri. With over $36 million invested in eight players for 2021-22, the Devils can easily afford to pay Palmieri over $7 million annually.

Of course, that figure will rise this year because of their anticipated re-signings of key free agents such as Mackenzie Blackwood and Jesper Bratt. It could go significantly higher if they bring in talent via trades or free agency in the off-season A flat salary-cap for 2021-22 could also affect the Devils cap room.

Palmieri’s contract talks also remain in limbo because ownership hasn’t decided if interim general manager Tom Fitzgerald will stay in that role on a full-time basis. A new GM could have a different opinion of Palmieri’s value. If so, we could hear his name mentioned a lot as the 2021 trade deadline rolls around.


THE SCORE: John Matisz examined a lengthy to-do list for Kevyn Adams, who was named earlier this week as the new general manager of the Buffalo Sabres.

Re-signing winger Sam Reinhart and goaltender Linus Ullmark to fair deals, being cautious with pending UFAs like Wayne Simmonds and Michael Frolik, and sorting out the future of defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen are among the key issues.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reinhart and Ullmark are restricted free agents with arbitration rights. As one of the Sabres’ leading scorers, Reinhart will likely seek a multi-year deal worth around $6 million annually. Ullmark has less of an established body of NHL work on his resume, giving Adams more leverage in negotiations.

Matisz pointed out Adams has no previous ties to Simmonds and Frolik. He could opt to cut them loose and pursue better UFA options.

Sabres coach Ralph Krueger recently expressed his wish to coach Ristolainen again next season. We’ll find out soon enough how much sway he has with his new boss.



  1. I would let Frolik and Simmonds walk and keep Ristolainen. Another body on the backend can move. Dahlin’s minutes will increase and he is you stud on the backend but they need a #2

    I was looking for Palmieri to move for a big haul at the trade deadline . A solid veteran with finishing skill. If the Devils don’t want him a number of teams will. They might have to move him for D help though if that is their part of the rebuild strategy. The forward future is Hughes and Hischier

  2. Kyle Palmieri presents a serious challenge to the Devils. He has played very well for the Devils, and deserves a salary bump. He is a fan favorite. He will be 30/31 in year one of his next contract. He plays a very physical game, he is not a “big” guy, so that style of game takes its toll on the body and tends not to age well. The time horizon for the Devils youngsters does not align with Kyle’s aging. So the conundrum is can you get Kyle signed to a deal that compensates him appropriately and doesn’t jeopardize the future team, or do the rebuilding Devils see what assets they can get at the deadline next season? Somewhat similar situation in Gusev also needs to be resolved. This is why the Devils need to decide on their GM.

    • kevin,
      i agree with what you said. the thing is NJD need a veteran presence in the locker room for all the young guys.
      Maybe they decide to see how the year goes, and if an offer is outstanding. they get a haul in return. then they sign him to an extension next offseason.
      It would be something our GM needs to decide.

  3. kevin,
    i agree with what you said. the thing is NJD need a veteran presence in the locker room for all the young guys.
    Maybe they decide to see how the year goes, and if an offer is outstanding. they get a haul in return. then they sign him to an extension next offseason.
    It would be something our GM needs to decide.

    • Question for Devils fans. If you could sign Taylor Hall or Palmieri for the same salary and term which player would you choose.

  4. Kevin – francois – I like Palmieri’s game … a lot. He’s the type of experienced veteran every young team building for the future needs (I’d love to see him in Ottawa) and, at the same time, the exact type of player that could be the one ingredient needed in a cup push by a top contending team.

    In normal times, he’d be looking at a final contract in the $6 mil + range in two year’s time. But these aren’t normal times and I believe he’s one among many who are hitting – or about to hit – that stage of their careers where their next deal would be the one to take them to retirement, but unfortunately are about to discover that a new fiscal reality is going to dictate otherwise.

    Fair dealing and bad timing make the most painful combination.

    • George O & francois, no argument with anything you have said. I like Palms, would hate to see him go, but need to avoid an albatross contract with a bunch of younger guys needing to be paid shortly.

      • Agree Kevin. But that’s why I offered the opinion that contract expectations and what many will actually get offered (and ultimately have to accept or find another line of work) in this year’s – and next year’s – UFA crop will open many eyes. And not just among the UFAs. RFAs that choose to go to arbitration because they and the team can’t met on what they think they should get are going to find that independent arbiters are also functioning under a new fiscal reality.

        Some hard decisions are looming for many players who are simply going to have to accept that it won’t be business as usual. Nor will the KHL or other European leagues be much of an option simply because the ramifications of Coviod-19 on economies are worldwide.

        I would be very surprised if we ever again see what we have come to describe as “albatross contracts” in the NHL at least.

  5. I mentioned yesterday some thoughts on Risto. I couldn’t understand why they’d be looking to move him. Now, after reading what coach says, I find it unrealistic. They don’t have cap issues. Besides, if you don’t have a better option to replace him, and you don’t think he’s good enough to play for your crappy team, what do you think you’re getting back in a deal for a guy with a 5.4 m cap hit?

  6. Keep Simmonds for toughness cuz the Sabres have none

    • Toronto: Simmonds ufa can go anywhere he wants. Not sure he’d stay there. I wonder if Ryan Callahan will continue to play. He’d be a good add for leadership. He’s from Rochester. Could be amicable to ending his career there.

      • Not sure Calli can play anymore.
        Also not sure how many suitors Simmonds will have

  7. Sabres are a dumpster fire if epic proportions.

    NJD can use more vets & ride it out for 2yrs. Need some more stability to let the kids grown into their own.

    The Kreider signing is strange timing considering the state of the cap up in the air. UFA’s will feel the pinch no doubt.

    RFA’s will feel some heat also & with those with arb rights it’s a slippery slope.