Doerrie's Deets: Saturday, April 9th
It’s a trade deadline version of Doerrie’s Deets! A little late this time around – we can thank my Masters research and finishing Year One for that. Nevertheless, I’m back and so many things are happening.
My biggest hunch proved prescient when the New Jersey Devils shipped Travis Zajac and Kyle Palmieri the New York Islanders. It was Tuesday’s edition of the Staff & Graph Podcast, after all, when I pegged the Islanders as the perfect fit. Everything I'd heard leading up to this point seemed to advance the idea that both players saw the Isles as their best landing spot, too.
The Devils needed to recoup assets and neither player has to uproot their lives to accommodate as much. Palmieri is from Long Island, and Zajac will fit like a glove in head coach Barry Trotz's system.
Zajac made it known that he wanted to stay in Jersey, and he refused to waive any of his movement protection last season to that end. The writing was on the wall after the Devils COVID outbreak, and now both players will have a legitimate shot at the Conference Final and beyond.
On a Devils note, it's all about balance. The Devils likely could've secured a greater bounty for Palmieri had they traded him in the off-season before his shooting cratered, but, kudos to them for getting the coveted first-round pick in a buyer’s market nonetheless.
What can’t be underestimated is the cataclysmic shift in the locker room that this deal signals. Not three years ago, the team was led by Zajac, Palmieri, Andy Greene, Taylor Hall, Brian Boyle and when healthy, Cory Schneider. All of those players had significant impacts on the development of the likes of Nico Hischier, Damon Severson, Mackenzie Blackwood, Jesper Bratt and Pavel Zacha.
It's a matter of fact that the leadership of that former group was a critical ingredient in bringing the next core along through some brutally difficult times.
With those characters gone the message is clear: The room belongs to the young guys, specifically Hischier and Severson and to a degree, Blackwood. The rest of the young core has been mentored by those of the past, and it will be up to them to usher in a new era of what Devils brass hopes, is sustained success.
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