With the NHL's April 12 trade deadline drawing closer, speculation is growing over who could move. New Jersey Devils right winger Kyle Palmieri is one of the notable players garnering attention in the rumor mill. He's among the top 10 on TSN's Trade Bait List and The Athletic's NHL Trade Deadline Big Board.
Acquired from the Anaheim Ducks in 2015, Palmieri has been the Devils' most consistent offensive forward. From 2015-16 to 2019-20, he was their leading scorer in all but one season (2017-18), tallying at least 24 goals each year. He also led them in total scoring during that period with 132 goals and 249 points.
The 30-year-old's production is down this season with six goals and 15 points in 29 games, but that could be reflective of the Devils' low overall production. A speedy, energetic forward, he's fourth among their scorers, just three points behind leader Pavel Zacha.
Palmieri is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. His annual average salary has been $4.65 million since 2016-17. He could seek a substantial raise on his next contract.
On March 16, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported Palmieri and the Devils are discussing his future, though it doesn't appear anything is imminent. General manager Tom Fitzgerald could entertain offers for the veteran winger if they fail to reach an agreement on an extension before the trade deadline.
Contenders seeking a top-six winger with speed, offensive skills and leadership could pursue Palmieri if he's available.
Here's a look at five potential destinations.
A Stanley Cup finalist in 2019 and last season's winner of the Presidents' Trophy, the Boston Bruins are clinging to the final playoff spot in the MassMutual East Division. General manager Don Sweeney could consider a foray into the trade market for a winger such as Palmieri to bolster his offensive depth.
Secondary scoring is the Bruins' main concern. They lack punch beyond their first line of center Patrice Bergeron and wingers Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. They were ninth last season in goals per game (3.24) but have slipped to 21st (2.68) this year.
Palmieri could be among the rental forwards on Sweeney's radar. His energetic style of play and scoring consistency would be a good fit alongside playmaking center David Krejci on the Bruins' second line.
Meeting the Devils' asking price won't be easy. The Bruins don't have as many tradable assets in terms of draft picks and prospects compared to other clubs on this list. They likely won't give up a struggling but still promising player like Jake DeBrusk for a rental. The Devils could seek a first- or second-round pick and perhaps a youngster such as Jack Studnicka in return.
The Calgary Flames got a brief lift earlier in March by bringing back Darryl Sutter as head coach. But after winning four of their first five games under Sutter, they dropped their next three to Toronto and Ottawa, managing just two goals. Stuck in sixth place in the Scotia North Division, the Flames need on-ice help to secure a playoff spot.
On March 4, TSN's Frank Seravalli reported Flames general manager Brad Treliving was on the hunt for a right winger with a right-handed shot. They've moved Elias Lindholm from right wing to center, but that's left a big gap on the right side. The team is using Dillon Dube, Andrew Mangiapane and Sam Bennett as its top-three right wingers, but they aren't reliable scorers.