Devils right winger Kyle Palmieri talks about the pain of losing in Game 7, and his first NHL goal.
Status: New Jersey Devils right wing.
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 195 pounds
DOB: February 1, 1991 In: Smithtown New York
First Hockey Memory: “Was in my family friends’ backyard, I had the little quad-runner skates that you’d think would be tough to fall down with but I took quite a few spills [smiles].”
Hockey Inspirations: “Well I grew up locally here so a lot of the Devils guys and Rangers guys in the mid 90s were, for me at least the biggest inspirations. You had the Rangers winning the Cup in ’94 – and obviously with the Devils with their run through the late 90s and early 2000s. So I had a mixture of guys I looked up to in this era.”
First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: “It might’ve been Ken Danyeko. I played for a couple of the Devils youth teams growing up and they were always in the same practice rink as us. So it might have been him. I remember seeing him around a lot.”
Greatest Sports Moment(s): “That’s tough. I think my first NHL goal (2010) was probably one of the proudest moments that I had because it takes so long and such a long road to get there. And to finally realize your dream of playing in the NHL was probably one of the biggest moments of my life (vs Tampa Bay in Anaheim).”
Most Painful Moment: “Well there’s been three of them for me – the last three years we lost in Game 7s at home with Anaheim. That’s been tough. You make it so far – and even last year especially – you make it one game from the Stanley Cup finals. And you come up short. I’d say last year Game 7was one of the most disappointing things in hockey that I had.”
Last Book Read: “A Course Called Ireland. A book about a guy walking his way through all of Ireland and playing golf on a bunch of different courses.”
Current Car: “I have a Ford Raptor and a Jeep Grand Cherokee.”
Three Athletes You Like To Watch & Follow: “I like three golfers – (Jordan) Spieth, (Jason) Day and (Tiger) Woods.”
Embarrassing Hockey Memory: “I think it was the tenth game of my first call up. It was on a two-on-one with Teemu Selanne – obviously I tried to get him the puck. Fanned on it. Stepped on the puck. Fell. They went back the other way. Then I got sent down after. That was probably the most embarrassing moment [smiles].”
Strangest Game: “I think your games in the minors when they do the 11 am starts. With all the kids in the stands. It was pretty different. 11 am starts just to begin with are pretty hard to adjust to. When you have 5000 screaming kids it adds to that. The weirdness of playing that early and all those little kids screaming.”
Funniest Players: “Brian McGrattan’s gotta be up there. Jon Mirasty. A lot of the tough guys have a comedic edge [smiles].”
Fiercest Competitors Encountered: “Ryan Kesler was up there for a while. Jonathan Toews – playing against him in a seven game series you don’t realize it just playing him during the regular season. But once you get to a playoff series he’s definitely one of the fiercest players that I’ve ever played against.”
Why Do You Love Playing Hockey: “Just always loved it. It’s something I get the most joy out. It doesn’t matter what other things you do – it doesn’t quite feel as good as being in the room with the guys and coming in after a win. That kind of stuff. It’s something I can’t really put into words. It’s something you know and love. You’ve been doing it for so long. It’s just kind of second nature for you.”
Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: “Golf.”
Most Memorable Goal: “It’s gotta be the first NHL goal. First game. So it was a pretty cool moment. Bobby Ryan threw a backhand pass right across the middle. One of my good friends Nick Bonigno fanned on it. It came right to my stick and I had an open net. So I didn’t have to do much. But it was the goal to tie up the game last couple of minutes. So it was pretty cool.”
People Qualities Most Admired: “Honesty and loyalty would be the two keys for me. Just knowing where you stand and having to rely on that person. To make sure it’s the truth. And how they carry themselves.”
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