Each season, every NHL team nominates a player for the King Clancy Award, which goes to the player “who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution to his community.” This year’s Devils nominee, according to Marc Ciampa of NewJerseyDevils.com, is Kyle Palmieri.
Palmieri’s ties to the military are well known, as is his penchant for giving back to that community. Ciampa mentioned that Palmieri started Squad21 in 2016 in order to help bring members of the armed services to Devils games. He then spun Squad21 into The Kyle Palmieri Foundation, which Ciampa describes as “a full-fledged charitable organization that supports three military nonprofits.” Ciampa also stresses that the “original Squad21 program still lives within the foundation.”
Squad21 hosts active military as well as veterans at every regular season Devils game and includes “complimentary tickets, a special Squad21 t-shirt and a post-game meet and greet with the” military personnel by Kyle Palmieri. Ciampa also mentioned that Palmieri will also meet with military members on the road “regardless of their team affiliation.”
In addition to this, Palmieri also hosted the Military Ball this past winter to benefit The Kyle Palmieri Foundation. It was held February 23, 2019 at Nanina’s in the Park in Belleville and helped raise over $100,000 for the Foundation and it’s causes.
Every Devils player was in attendance to help Kyle out and the Ball hosted active and retired military. Ciampa mentioned that “several NHL players and teams from around the league supported Kyle with the contribution of signed memorabilia” for the silent auction.
The three nonprofits that The Kyle Palmieri Foundation supports are the National Military Family Association (NMFA), Service Women Action Network (SWAN) and Pets for Vets.
Congratulations to Kyle Palmieri on this honor and also to Cory Schneider, who is the Devils Bill Masterton Award nominee as well.