Goal-scoring whiz Kyle Palmieri envisioned a bunch of long Stanley Cup playoff runs when he opted in July 2016 to stay home and re-sign with the Devils for $23.25 million over five seasons.
The Smithtown, N.Y.-born, Montvale, N.J.-raised winger is still waiting for a first, because that 4-games-to-1, first-round ousting to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the spring of 2018 doesn’t qualify.
Palmieri was optimistic this season would be different after the Devils won the draft lottery for the second time in three years last April and then selected can’t-miss center Jack Hughes while also trading for star defenseman P.K. Subban.
One-time star goalie Cory Schneider stunk his way to the AHL by November, 2018 Hart winner Taylor Hall was traded and coach John Hynes got canned in December, GM Ray Shero was fired in January, and veterans Andy Greene, Blake Coleman and Wayne Simmons were traded in February. Also, Hughes has been a rookie bust pretty much from his season debut until the NHL shut down on March 12 due to the coronavirus.