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Ondrej Palat signs five-year contract with Devils

The left wing will sign with New Jersey in free agency.

Ondrej Palat #18 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates against the Colorado Avalanche during first period in Game Six of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final at Amalie Arena on June 26, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images

Left wing Ondrej Palat has signed a five-year, $30 million contract with the New Jersey Devils late Wednesday night.

Palat is apparently the consolation prize when you’re unable to sign Johnny Gaudreau to play at home. Instead of landing the All-Star, the Devils bring in a veteran left wing many believe can play in the top-6 forward group. Palat is 31 years old and makes more sense as a third-line wing, something the Devils have plenty of at the moment. It’s still to be seen if other moves will come.

Palat spent the first decade of his career with the Tampa Bay Lightning. This was a very beneficial move for him because the Lightning made the Stanley Cup Finals in 2015, 2020, 2021 and 2022 winning the cup in two of the last three seasons. He played in 77 games last season and scored 18 goals and had 31 assists for a total of 49 points.

Palat is coming off the third contract of his career. His entry-level contract was extended for another three years and he signed his first big deal ahead of the 2017-2018 season. His most recent contract with Tampa Bay was five years for $26.5 million.