NHL Rumors: Devils' Kyle Palmieri would be great fit for Bruins if he ends up moving

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NHL Rumors: Devils' Kyle Palmieri would be great fit for Bruins if he ends up moving

There are a number of Bruins trade targets at the forward position who will be discussed ahead of the Feb. 24 trade deadline, and some have a higher probability of moving than others.

There’s a solid likelihood that Chris Kreider eventually gets moved, and names like Tyler Toffoli and Andreas Athanasiou feel like players who will definitely move on from their respective last place teams before everything is said and done at the deadline.

One player of interest who may or may not be moved at the trade deadline is New Jersey Devils right winger Kyle Palmieri, a player with term who's signed for $4.65 million next season and leads the Devils with 37 points in 50 games while ranking second on the team with 20 goals this season.

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He’s arguably the most effective Devils player on their roster and that means moving him would have immediate catastrophic results for New Jersey.

The 29-year-old is on pace for 30 goals and close to 60 points this season and has topped 25 goals and 50 points in three of the four seasons he’s spent with the Devils since getting shipped out of Anaheim. Palmieri isn’t the big, physical winger that the Bruins really need at 5-foot-11, 185-pounds, but he’s productive while playing on a right side where the Bruins really need to acquire more high-end depth over the foreseeable future.

Palmieri also has 38 games of Stanley Cup Playoff experience despite now playing for a dreadful New Jersey team, so he’s a proven commodity in a postseason where the Bruins will need whomever they acquire to step up this spring.

The big question on Palmieri is whether or not the Devils will trade their leading scorer given the lack of established, entrenched leadership at the top of New Jersey’s hockey operations.

Former Bruins forward Tom Fitzgerald holds the title of interim GM after Ray Shero left the organization in the middle of the season following the Taylor Hall deal, and bold moves involving the team’s best players really aren’t the norm for a general manager until that interim tag goes away.  

The other big question is what kind of cost there would be for a player like Palmieri who's been an outstanding producer since arriving in New Jersey. Given that he’s a productive player with term on a pretty affordable contract, the cost would start with a first round pick and a young cost-controlled NHL roster player like Anders Bjork, and then undoubtedly involve a high-end prospect like Trent Frederic or Urho Vaakanainen as well.

That’s a costly proposition that the Bruins have really stayed away from since Sweeney took over as head of hockey operations.

It wouldn’t be a simple rental move to make at the deadline, but then again it would also give a more long-term solution to a top-6 issue that the Bruins have been slapping band-aid solutions on since Don Sweeney took over as GM five years ago.

A deal for Palmieri is probably a bit lower in terms of probability than others like Kreider or Toffoli, and there are other players of interest on the New Jersey roster as well like Blake Coleman and Miles Wood who could be decent fits for the Bruins. The 24-year-old Wood is having a down year with just 10 goals and 19 points in 54 games with a minus-14 rating, but he’s a big, physical player with speed whom the Bruins have been intrigued by over the years.

The 28-year-old Coleman is another forward who plays with bite and is in the midst of a career year while leading the Devils with 21 goals this season, and is on pace for 32 goals and 50 points while seeming to always play well against the Bruins. Wood is signed for two more years at $2.75 million while still an RFA at the end of his current contract, and Coleman is signed for one more year at $1.8 million before he hits unrestricted free agency.

So neither of those players would come cheaply, but they are also on a Devils team that should be ripping everything down to the studs on the current NHL roster and building up around Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier and Wil Butcher on the back end.

The bottom line for the Bruins when it comes to Palmieri? There are a number of potential trade candidates on the Devils roster that the Bruins would, and should, have interest in and the Bruins have already done business with New Jersey as recently as last season when they dealt for Marcus Johansson at the trade deadline.

Perhaps history will strike twice and the Bruins will go against the grain to make a deal with a Devils team that’s strictly in a rebuilding mode after dealing away Taylor Hall in the middle of a lost season.

Who are the Top 10 NHL players from Massachusetts?

Who are the Top 10 NHL players from Massachusetts?

There’s a strong tradition of hockey in the state of Massachusetts, and not so surprisingly there is also no shortage of standout NHL players from this state.

A great deal of those talented players arrived in the years since Bobby Orr first came to town in Black and Gold and brought with him a hockey rink boom all over the Commonwealth, so there’s no coincidence to the timing of it all.

Another non-shocker: The greatest generation of Massachusetts hockey players continues to be the 1990’s when Jeremy Roenick, Keith Tkachuk and Tony Amonte along with Bill Guerin grew into dominant forces of talent at the NHL level. There may never such a concentration of star NHL players from Massachusetts all playing at the same time.

There were older pioneers and standouts, of course, like St. John’s Prep phenom Bobby Carpenter, one of the few high-level elite Massachusetts guys that laced up for the B's, and Acton-Boxborough’s Tom Barrasso on those Stanley Cup teams in Pittsburgh. Here’s a list of the top-10 all-time NHL players born in Massachusetts with apologies to Scott Young, Mike Milbury, Cory Schneider, Tom Poti, Tom Fitzgerald, Chris Nilan, Shawn McEachern and Jay Pandolfo for not quite making the cut.

This Date in Bruins History: Blues beat B's in OT of Stanley Cup Final

This Date in Bruins History: Blues beat B's in OT of Stanley Cup Final

Only one game in the history of the Boston Bruins has been played on May 29, and it's one that fans of the Black and Gold would like to forget.

It was Game 2 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden, where the B's hosted the St. Louis Blues leading the series 1-0.

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The Bruins started off strong by opening the scoring with a goal from Charlie Coyle at 4:44 of the first period. The Blues responded about five minutes later with a goal from Robert Bortuzzo that came off a fortunate deflection. Boston wasn't fazed, though, and went back ahead when trade deadline pickup Joakim Nordstrom scored to give the B's a 2-1 lead in the first period. The Blues came right back and again evened the score when Vladimir Tarasenko converted on his own rebound opportunity with 5:05 left in the first period. 

These two teams played the remainder of regulation with great intensity and physicality, but the Blues went over the line toward the end of the first period when forward Oskar Sundqvist hit Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk into the boards from behind. Sundqvist was suspended for Game 3 as a result of the hit. 

Grzelcyk left the game and didn't return, which forced the Bruins to play the rest of the game with only five defensemen. It was a tough setback for the Bruins to overcome, and they were pretty tired in the overtime period as St. Louis dominated the extra frame and eventually scored the game-winner on a point shot from Carl Gunnarsson.

The victory for the Blues was the first of three for them in Boston during the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, including the championship-clinching Game 7 victory.