Devils Trade Palmieri, Zajac to Islanders

The New York Islanders were aggressive before the upcoming NHL trade deadline and the Devils were the beneficiaries of that – at price.

Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac are now Islanders and the Devils got a good package back for them.

Let’s start with Palmieri. He was an unrestricted free agent to be and the Devils were unable to come to terms on a new contract with in exchange for him, the Devils essentially got a 2021 first-round Draft pick. The Devils will retain 50-percent of his salary. Palmieri had a modified no trade clause.

For Zajac, the Devils got a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2022 Draft and the Devils will likewise retain 50-percent of salary. Zajac had a full no trade clause in his contract and needed to waive it in order to be traded.

The Devils also obtained AJ Greer and Mason Jobst in the trade.

Greer is 24 years old, a 6-foot, 2-inch 205 pound left winger who was with the Bridgeport SoundTigers of the AHL. He has one goal and an assist over ten game in the American League. He has played 37 games at the NHL level where he has one goal and five assists (six points).

He was Colorado’s second round pick in 2015 (39th overall).

Jobst is 27, 5-foot, 8-inches, 185 pounds. He has two assists over six games with the SoundTigers.

Both players will report to the Binghamton Devils.

The real star of the trade is pretty much the first-rounder. It will be a low first-round pick because of how the Isles are doing and are likely to do, but it can always be flipped for an NHL caliber player. The Devils now have nine picks in the 2021 Draft (their own first rounder, third rounder, fourth rounder, sixth rounder, the Islanders’ first and second rounders, the Sabres’ fifth rounder and the Coyotes’ third and seventh rounders).

It’s sad to see these guys go. Palmieri was a great leader. A Jersey-raised guy who wore the Devils uniform with pride. Of course, he was born on Long Island so he has connections there. Through many of the lean years, Palms was one of the few reasons to get excited about the Devils. He will provide veteran leadership and scoring to New York.

Speaking of veteran leadership, Travis Zajac has that in droves. He just recently played in his 1,000th NHL game and can lead. He will give the Isles a lot of defensive forward prowess and will kill penalties and win faceoffs.

This move also gives Zajac a chance to win the Stanley Cup. Following 2012, you wanted to see him get another chance at winning. And to do it with ex/current teammate Andy Greene would be all the more sweeter.

Good luck to both guys on the Island. Let’s see how this plays out from a Devils perspective as well.

In Memoriam: Michael Rosinski

My Devils fandom has a Big Bang moment.

It was December 28, 1991. The Meadowlands Arena, Devils versus Sabres. The Devils won and my family and I were hooked.

There were people behind all of this. Pulling the strings if you will, hockey enablers turning us into Devils fans for life. Inadvertently creating this blog 25 years down the road.

They were neighbors and friends of ours: the Rosinskis.

And two nights ago, the Devils family, and, more importantly, the Rosinski family, lost someone particularly important to them.

That was Michael Rosinski, a son, brother, grandson, uncle. But most importantly to me, a friend. He passed of complications from Covid.

I had not seen Michael for a few years. There are certainly people much better qualified to eulogize his later life. We last met at Patrik Elias’ jersey retirement night.

He was hard to miss, well over six feet tall, and my brother, his fiancée and I talked with him for a few minutes. He was as polite as ever, a true gentle giant. It only made that night at The Rock that much better. To see an old friend on a night honoring a player we grew up watching.

And that is where I can eulogize Michael correctly: childhood.

My brother, sister and I had a wonderful childhood growing up by the Jersey Shore. But Michael, his brother Chris, my brother Matt and myself were not interested in surfing, swimming or hanging out on the boardwalk.

No, our pursuits echoed winter. Sure, we loved all sports and we were competitive, spirited basketball games in the driveway, home run derby between Little League games, soccer, football (the Arctic Bowl – our only game of tackle football during the year’s first snowfall is a story for a whole other post!), golf. You name it, we played and we enjoyed it.

But there was only one sport that truly had our hearts. Hockey.

I would often joke that our neighborhood was a little piece of Canada transplanted to New Jersey. Maybe it should have been a “neighbourhood”?

Everyone played hockey in some form be it organized ice hockey, roller hockey or just having a team to root for. This was during the most heated era of Devils-Rangers, so everyone had a stake – whether they followed hockey on a day-to-day basis or not.

(Just to show the extent of our hockey fandom and a sign of the times. We all collected NHL POGS, almost exclusively! Like trading cards, but in POG form!

This meant that hockey was everywhere. Roller hockey in my family’s driveway all year round, pond hockey when the fickle New Jersey winters would cooperate and, of course, knee hockey.

Knee hockey was just that: us “running” around on our knees in my parent’s carpeted basement smacking a foam rubber ball at each other with makeshift goals and goalie equipment.

The games got competitive, and limited space made things physical. Michael would play goal and he was great with those taped-up, broken souvenir sticks.

There were trips our families took together to Lake Placid, New York. Truly a Mecca for hockey and winter sports fans. Skating, skiing, just taking in a place where the Miracle on Ice happened. It was a frigid paradise for us and we would have it no other way.

There were the hours spent watching hockey videos. Our particular favorites: The Devils 1995 Cup Championship video, the Flames 1989 Stanley Cup video and “Ice Hot” a compilation of great moments in NHL history and then-current highlights.

And before I forget, the Demons. The picture up top is Michael in net for our neighborhood hockey club: The Demons. It’s the thing only creative, hockey obsessed kids could come up with. We ran practices with drills. It was a true brotherhood.

And now one of our brothers have fallen.

On behalf of my family and myself, our condolences to Michael’s mother, grandmother and brother, sister-in-law and nieces. Not to mention his friends and extended family.

I feel this writeup does not entirely pay justice to a great friend, but I really hope it can let those reading know just how much Michael and his family meant to my family. And just how much our lives would be different were it not for December 28, 1991.

Rest in Peace Michael. Your life will live on in the memories of your many friends and loved ones.