Kyle Palmieri’s head is exactly where you’d expect it to be at this time of the year. Palmieri is focused on getting his new team into the playoffs in the best position possible, not thinking about his contract for next season.
Palmieri is an unrestricted free agent after this year and the idea of him being brought back isn’t one that Lou Lamoriello would rule out. That’s the least of the veteran forward’s concerns at the moment.
“I think this first couple weeks all you’re really focused on is fitting in and getting to know the guys, and the systems,” Palmieri said ahead of Thursday’s game with the Washington Capitals. “And (making) an impact. Obviously, they brought me in for a reason and that’s to come in here and help this team win. That’s all I’m really focused on.
“The stuff coming up in the summer, that will take care itself and we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”
The longtime New Jersey Devil is seven games into his time with the Islanders. Palmieri has a goal and an assist through that time with his new team and has averaged 15:01 of ice time.
The idea to bring Kyle Palmieri was not only to improve the Islanders during the stretch run of the season, but to help fill the gap left by the season-ending ACL injury to Anders Lee.
Palmieri has enjoyed his time with the Islanders so far, quickly exclaiming his excitement to be a member of the organization during his introductory press conference and again on Thursday when speaking with reporters.
🎥 Palmieri Pregame Availability 🎥 pic.twitter.com/B6GRNDtJre
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) April 22, 2021
Like any adjustment, there has been a learning curve for Kyle Palmieri since arriving on Long Island, but he felt he has picked up on the Islanders system pretty well.
“It’s a relatively traditional system,” Palmieri said. ” Coming here was kind of going back to what a more formal and traditional system looks like. It’s stuff you’ve played before, I mean, you play long enough and you see different systems I think worded differently. But for the most part, it’s been a pretty easy transition to try and fit in and get going here.”
For Islanders head coach Barry Trotz, measuring how successful a trade deadline acquisition isn’t necessarily about how many goals they put up right away. For the Islanders bench boss part of it is how they adjust to their new role with a new team.
“It’s the person that comes in and accepts the role that he’s put in,” Trotz said. “You’ve got players who come in and play a really prominent role, if you will, in a spot. Someone has to give up a piece of that. Other players come in and play a smaller role, but it pushes someone else out. … This year we have access to a lot more players and therefore you become just a piece of a bigger group.
“That’s why the person has to be really accepting and understand everybody is trying to reach the same goal, and that’s to win a Stanley Cup.”