New Jersey Devils Removed Ondrej Palat from the wounded reserve force, according to the NHL media site. Tyce Thompsonwho was recently called back, no longer appears in the list and by Ryan Novozinsky of NJ.com being sent to Comet Utica. The team also recovered Akira Schmidbut an additional listing position is already available so no further trading is required.
Palat, 31, hasn’t competed since October 24 when he logged more than 20 minutes for the first time in a Devil’s uniform. He’ll have groin surgery a week later, meaning he’ll miss out on much of New Jersey’s incredible start to the year. Now that the Devils have begun to falter, there’s no better time for the Stanley Cup champion to return to the lineup.
While he’s not an elite attacking player, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any former teammates who speak negatively about playing with Palat. He’s the type of player that is good at everything that every team believes in and is a consistent presence at both ends of the pitch. Marian Hossa-lite, he’s been called that in the past, as he allows teammates to cheat offensively while taking on a lot of defensive responsibilities.
That’s what the Devils were hoping to add when they signed a five-year, $30 million deal with Palat last summer. The upfront deal, which pays him $8.25 million this season, also comes with a provision for a total transfer ban for the first three years. The veteran forward is said to be able to transfer his championship experience to one of the youngest teams in the league, and he would be welcome back to try to help turn the tide after a recent slip. .
That change may have started with a decisive 5-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings last night, but there are several challenges coming up the schedule. The New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes, both rivals, will meet after tonight’s game against St. Louis Blues.