With the NHL trade deadline looming on Monday, February 24th at 3pm, the New Jersey Devils have been involved in several high profile trades already with other player moves being discussed in various hockey trade circles.

Blake Coleman is now looking at making the playoffs this season wearing a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey while captain Andy Greene is now on Long Island wearing the blue & orange of the New York Islanders.  Interim General Manager Tom Fitzgerald certainly has other trade deals in the works with other NHL teams and now the clock is ticking and last-minute bargains are being struck to improve the Devils over the course of the next couple of seasons – in theory at least.

Right winger Kyle Palmieri is leading the charge as one of the top trade prospects the Devils have been looking at offers for with the Boston Bruins being mentioned as a likely team.  However, there has been little word out of the Bruins organization regarding actual interest in Palmieri –  at least publicly.  The Calgary Flames have also been mentioned as a possible trade partner with the Devils for Palmieri but in the words of Palmieri himself:

“It’s just a lot of noise,” Palmieri said this week at Prudential Center. “It’s not something I can control. There are plenty of Twitter GMs out there but right now, I’m staying focused on the game and the guys in this room. Until someone tells me otherwise, that’s what my focus is on.” – Kyle Palmieri, NorthJersey.com,  2/21/20

Wayne Simmonds’ name is still circulating around NHL trade rumors with the Vancouver Canucks being the likely trading partner with the Devils for Simmonds.  However, issues regarding Simmonds’ salary may force the Devils to look around with other teams or essentially “eat” some of Simmonds’ salary cap in order for trade with the Canucks to be more probable.  The Canucks also recently acquired Tyler Toffoli and may have taken their eyes off of Simmonds for the time being.

If anything, the use of one-season rental players has become more of an issue with the Devils and long-term player stability should be one of the key offseason goals for the Devils in order to build the nucleus of a winning organization that can compete for a playoff spot in 2020-21.  Simmonds may, in fact, stay with the Devils and become part of the stability this team’s needs along with veteran leadership now that Andy Greene is gone.

Late trading reports have also indicated that Goalie Louis Domingue has cleared waivers and has been sent down to the AHL in what appears to be a move by the Devils to protect Domingue and make him available for trading up through Monday afternoon.  Domingue has enough playing time with the Devils to be considered a viable trade prospect and clearing waivers is part of the process for any trade considerations.

The Devils have critical decisions to make and now only hours to decide who they want to help continue the rebuilding process next season and even years into the future.
Prudent traders can yield great players who can help an organization through bad times into on-ice success and bad trades can haunt a team for years to come.

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