The New Jersey Devils have re-signed F Kyle Palmieri with a 5-year contract averaging $4,650,000 per year, as announced this morning on their official site.
On Tuesday, Palmieri had filed for arbitration with the team. According to Shero, each side had generally agreed upon salary, however the length of the contract was up for debate. As John pointed out, this was not an uncommon occurrence and all but guaranteed he'd be skating for New Jersey this season.
Palmieri, just the second New Jersey native to play for the Devils, was one of two 30 goal scorers for the Devils in 2015-16. Acquired from Anaheim last offseason for a 2nd round pick in 2015 and a 3rd round pick in 2016, Palmieri played in all 82 games for New Jersey and was one of the core offensive contributors to the team. He hit personal bests of 57 points on the season and 23 points on the power play.
John will follow up later today with a full reaction post, but here's his quick take:
This is a fantastic deal. I expected a bigger contract based on what I wrote on it back in May. Thus, I don't think there can be any complaints about it. Shero needed to lock up Palmieri through his best years and he did it with a reasonable and team-friendly contract. Congratulations to everyone involved.
Night Update by John: I'm following up now and I don't have a ton to say because, well, this is still an excellent deal. I will say I was wrong in my initial thoughts that I gave to Steve. I actually came really close with my guess from earlier in this offseason. Here's my conclusion from the post I wrote in May:
I could live with something a little more expensive; I would think an AAV of over $5 million would be too much even with a long term contract. A four to six year contract where the AAV is in the $4-$4.75 million range would make sense to me given similar players and the general idea behind age and scoring for a forward. He will get paid and paid real well with that deal.
While Loui Eriksson got paid much more handsomely, this contract is right in that range. The full terms of the deal are now up at General Fanager and CapFriendly. Both show his salary will increase after the second season and drop after the fourth one; but he'll still receive more than four million dollars in each one. Again, he'll get paid and he'll paid real well.
It was also confirmed in the evening that Palmieri has a modified no trade clause that kicks in after the 2018-19 season. Palmieri will submit a list of eight teams he won't be traded to. I'm not bothered by that clause at all. By that time, there will be 22 other teams he could be traded to. Should Palmieri really flop - which I highly doubt - he could be moved before that clause even comes into play.
After the signing, Ray Shero held a conference call. Based on this report of that call by Andrew Gross at Fire & Ice, Shero stated that Palmieri's game is in line with his vision for how he wants the Devils to play. Three words come to mind: Fast, attacking, supportive. Anyway, Shero also agreed that Palmieri is a core player on the team. That's crucial to recognize in the long-term plan that Shero has to consider. Palmieri, Taylor Hall, Adam Henrique, Mike Cammalleri, Cory Schneider, Travis Zajac, Andy Greene, Ben Lovejoy, and those that can start three-year ELCs this year (e.g. Pavel Zacha) are the only Devils signed beyond next season (2018-19 and beyond). While some in that group are more important than others, those are the players that Shero is building around. That does not mean they are safe; just look at Adam Larsson, who I considered to be in that group way back in March. A lot changes in a few months.
There's still a little more to do for the Devils' offseason. Reid Boucher and Reece Scarlett are up for new contracts. In terms of team needs, Gerard's post about the defense is quite timely as the Devils currently have a gap on defense. And there's the wildcard named Patrik Elias. That Shero thinks - from his conference call - they'll evaluate him in September means we'll likely have to wait until training camp for a decision.
I don't think anyone would be saying the Devils are just Schneider and a bunch of dudes. Palmieri is very much a featured skater on this squad. He will be for the next five seasons on a favorable deal. Should he put up similar performances as he did in 2015-16, then that deal will be even more favorable and the Devils fans will like him more. All the same, I like Palmieri and I really like this contract. Congratulations, again, to everyone involved.
What are your thoughts? Are you glad the Devils locked up Palmieri for the next several years? Would you have preferred a longer or shorter deal?