NHL.com’s Dan Rosen reported from the NHL General Manager Meetings in Boca Raton, Florida Monday and spoke to Devils GM Ray Shero. Shero talked with him about Cory Schneider’s status after his knee injury, which he suffered on March 4 against the Stars, and Kyle Palmieri’s contract status.
Rosen said that the Devils will evaluate Schneider again in one week to see if he will be able to play any hockey for the remainder of this season. He said that there have not be internal talks by the Devils about shutting Schneider down, although that is an option should the Devils fall far enough out of playoff contention.
Another topic that Shero and Rosen discussed was the status of contract talks between Kyle Palmieri and the Devils. Rosen said that Palmieri will be “a restricted free agent with arbitration rights July 1” but that the Devils have not started negotiations with him and his agent. Rosen noted that Palmieri leads the Devils with 25 goals and 45 points. Both are career highs for the forward obtained on draft day 2015 from the Anaheim Ducks.
“We’ll get him signed, it’s a matter of how long and all that stuff” Shero told Rosen. He continued, “He has [arbitration] rights, but he’s a guy we’d certainly like to have under contract for more than a couple years.”
Both issues are very important turning points facing the Devils. If they shut Cory down due to his Grade 1 MCL sprain, it would essentially mean that they are conceding the playoff race. On the flip side, should they rush Cory back, it could mean trouble for him as his career progresses. On the Palmieri front, he would be a player that they would seemingly need to resign. I know that these things take time, but waiting until the end of the season to begin contract negotiations has bitten the Devils before, under Lou Lamoriello’s regime.
Hopefully both issues work themselves out for the Devils and the team can move forward to looking to contend for next season.