There will be a new face on the New Jersey Devils' flight to Western Canada Monday afternoon. Forward Brian Boyle will join his teammates on the road for the first time this season, healthy enough to travel - and possibly to play.
"I'm ready to go," said Boyle after practice. "Mentally, I'm ready to go. I just got to keep getting out there and keep working. The closer I get, the more excited I get."
Boyle was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia during training camp and has yet to play a game for the Devils. He participated in full with his teammates on Monday, including the early special teams practice before the 11 a.m. scheduled start time.
The addition of Boyle on the trip, whether he plays or not, is an important one for morale, as the team takes its longest road trip of the season yet. With stops in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary, the 8-2-0 Devils take their show on the road.
"It's nice to have him," said coach John Hynes. "It's an opportunity for guys to get together a little bit and that's one of the big reasons why he's with us. His experience, he's a veteran guy and just being around the players will be a big benefit for him and our team."
Hynes said he anticipates that Boyle will make his season debut on the trip.
"Eventually with a guy like that, you've just got to put him in," Hynes said.
Kyle Palmieri will not make the trip.
"With what's bothering him, it doesn't make sense to push it," Hynes said. "It's something that you've really got to let settle down."
Hynes confirmed Palmieri remains out with a lower body injury suffered during practice on Oct. 19.
"If we can handle it right now, when he comes back, he's ready to go," Hynes said. "He has a high pain tolerance. He pushes himself. And he does play through certain things. But for us right now, it's real important that he gets healthy and when he comes back he can be the player we need him to be."
While Palmieri has worked out off the ice, he has not been on skates since the injury occurred.
After sitting out Saturday's game with a lower body injury, Marcus Johansson confirms he feels much better and is ready to play.