During Thursday’s TSN Insider Trading segment, Pierre LeBrun and the rest of the panel talked about the plans for teams like Columbus, Edmonton, Dallas and others heading into the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline. LeBrun said the New Jersey Devils could be one of the busiest teams in the NHL because they have eight pending UFAs. He labeled them the league’s “action team.”
LeBrun has been told that the Devils have heard from pretty much every playoff or bubble team last couple of weeks. He notes that forward Kyle Palmieri is the big name that most teams are likely calling about, but there’s also a chance he signs an extension with the Devils organization. “First order of business and the priority for the Devils is to go to Palmieri’s camp to see if there’s a fit.” He adds, “We know what happens if there isn’t.”
One of the teams that could be interested in Palmieri if he doesn’t end up extending is the Toronto Maple Leafs. That said, there would have to be some salary cap magic worked on that deal to make it a reality.
Among the other pending UFAs, names include Travis Zajac, Nikita Gusev, Ryan Murray, Sami Vatanen, Dmitry Kulikov, Aaron Dell and Scott Wedgewood.
As it is, the chances of the Devils making the postseason are not good. The expectation is that the team will be selling. Needless to say, there could be some movement out of that organization.
Any Other Players on the Block?
It won’t just be pending UFAs that get talked about when it comes to the Devils. There’s been talk about every player that isn’t part of the young core being a potential trade candidate and that includes names like P.K. Subban. It’s not likely any team would take on Subban’s contract so it’s doubtful anything of substance gets talked about on the front, but it speaks to how open for business the Devils likely are.
When LeBrun called the Devils the “action team” of the NHL, he certainly wasn’t understating that fact. Perhaps only Buffalo and San Jose even come close.
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