By Adam Brady
It was a breakout season in 2012-13 for Ducks winger Kyle Palmieri, one in which he scored 10 goals in 42 games and was sixth in the league with five game-winning goals. The 22-year-old also co-led the team with three tallies in the postseason, part of the reason the Ducks rewarded the free agent with a three-year contract extension last week.
It was some welcome stability for the native of Smithtown, New York, who has spent most of his summer back east mixing some quality relaxation time with getting ready for next season in Anaheim. Kyle spent a few minutes talking about his new deal, his offseason so far and answering a few questions submitted from fans via Twitter.
What’s your feeling about signing that new deal?
I’m incredibly excited. I think coming into this summer and my contract negotiations, I was confident we were going to get a deal done. It took a little bit of time, but I think both sides were very happy. I’m just excited to get it out of the way and look forward to next season.
You’ve been with the Ducks organization your entire career, so was this the place you ultimately wanted to be?
Without a doubt. I’ve been treated very well by the Ducks organization and the fans, and it’s awesome to play in Southern California. The Ducks gave me an opportunity to spend three more years there, and I’m really excited to take advantage of it.
Is there something you treated yourself to after signing the deal?
Well, when I got home to New Jersey after the season, I actually bought myself a new car. It’s a Ford Raptor, and it will get shipped out to California when I come back. Other than that I’m just trying to save some money.
What is your impression of the past season?
I had a great time this year. With the lockout, I think it gave me a little bit of an edge on the competition as far as being able to play in the AHL and play at a high level from the beginning of October. That was something a lot of guys didn’t have the opportunity to do, and it allowed me to work and focus on what I needed to do to step in when the lockout was over and be an effective everyday NHL player.
You’ve represented your country in international competition before, but what was your reaction to being invited to Team USA’s orientation camp for the next Olympics?
I was really excited. I wasn’t expecting it, that’s for sure, and to get that text inviting me, and have that opportunity to be put on a roster with those guys and represent Team USA is an incredible feeling. It was something I didn’t expect coming into this year, so I’m definitely honored to have been invited.
What was your reaction when you heard about the trade that sent Bobby Ryan to Ottawa?
You have mixed feelings. Bobby is a great guy, and when I played my first NHL game, he was one of the first guys to come up to me and try to settle my nerves. He’s a great teammate and in the locker room he’s such a positive influence. He’s close with every guy. It’s tough to see a player like that go, but at the same time, it’s a new opportunity for him. It’s tough to see someone go like that, but I wish him the best.
Other than that, what’s your summer been like so far?
It’s been pretty busy. I’ve had a wedding or two and I’ve been back home a lot back in Jersey to spend time with my family. Most of the summer I’ve spent in Boston. A bunch of my buddies live there, and I just love the city. During the summer, it’s an awesome place to be. You’re around a lot of good pro players, and you’re able to train with guys on a daily basis who have that same goal of being an everyday NHL player. That motivates you. It’s a fun spot to be around my buddies, working hard and at the same time relaxing during the summer months.
Have you been out to Fenway while you’re there?
Yeah, we’ve been out to Fenway a few times, a couple Red Sox games and I was there for a Jason Aldean concert a couple weeks ago. It was awesome. He had a two-day concert there and we went the first night. It was packed. I’m a big country music fan, so that was a blast.
@mrswans asks: Which Ducks player has given you the best advice?
That’s tough to say, but the morning of my first game, or the night of Game 7 recently, a lot of guys have given me something. I’m one of those guys who takes it all in and wants to learn as much as he can.
@Kindschi asks: Palmieri, Cogliano, Bonino, Sbisa....Why are Italians so dang good at hockey?
[Laughs] Maybe it’s all the pasta we eat. I really don’t know.
@bren_miller asks: Is he going to change his number?
Yeah, I think I’m changing it to a lower number next year. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say which number though.
@OCkid714 asks: What kind of conditioning are you doing during the offseason?
I do a lot of things. The first couple months, you stay off the ice and you’re doing mostly treadmill and bike, just to get your body away from skating a little bit since it takes a huge toll on you during the year. You try and mix it up. In those first couple of weeks, it’s kind of a grind, but when you get back into the swing of things it becomes easier. You’ve try and keep it fun. Any kind of running around , having some fun, trying to make it a competition, is good for you. We’re at the point of summer where you’ve got to be ready for camp and playing at your peak level, so I’m on the ice probably three or four times a week right now.
@kleychavez asks: Favorite Seinfeld episode/quote?
That’s tough. I can’t put my finger on one. I do watch a lot of it though. I like them all.
@OCkid714 asks: You watch any other sports?
I love to watch golf. I love those big tournaments like the Masters, US Open, British Open. I watched a lot of the British when Phil won it a couple weeks ago.
@CoryHink asks: What arena is he most excited to visit in the 2013-14 season?
I think Madison Square Garden will be the one I’m really looking forward to on our schedule. Being from back there, I’ll have a lot of family there. I was a Rangers fan growing up, I’m not gonna lie. Being able to play at the Garden will definitely be an awesome opportunity.
What’s your plan for the rest of the summer?
Right now I’m out in Syracuse visiting my girlfriend, and my agent is out of Rochester, so I do a hockey camp with him and some younger guys from the area. Next week I’m running a camp back home in Jersey for some kids, so that will be a fun experience. Other than that, I’ve got the Olympic camp coming up in August, then I head back to California first week of September. I can’t wait to get out there and get the season started. It will be nice to settle in for a winter in California.
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