The Devils have salary cap problems and they’re in need of answers before the season starts next month. Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice finds out that one player who has been mentioned as a solution to the Devils cap problems, Brian Rolston, hasn’t been approached at all by the team to send him elsewhere. There’s just one problem, however.
But Roslton has a no-trade clause on the four-year contract he signed two summers ago and would have to agree to waive it to be moved. His agent, Stephen Bartlett, told me today that the Devils have yet to approach Rolston or him about waiving the no-trade clause.
“No, we haven’t had any discussions along those lines,” Bartlett said. “We’ll see how things shake out. They’ve got some work to do. It could be any number of combinations, but I have not had that conversation about anything to do with that with Lou.”
Generally, you aren’t going to ask a player to waive their no-trade clause until you’ve got an interested party or two. I can’t imagine why there isn’t a team interested in a player that’s making over $5 million the next two seasons against the cap and saw his production fall off a cliff last two seasons (35 goals, 34 assists). When the Devils signed Rolston two years ago, those were the sorts of numbers he was putting up in one season and at 37 years-old the outlook doesn’t exactly look bright.
Finding a new home for Rolston would provide the easiest solution to the Devils’ salary cap problems. Unfortunately for them, Rolston with two years left on his overwhelming contract, makes it virtually impossible to move him unless the Devils sweeten the pot with high draft picks. Whether or not Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has another trick up his sleeve remains to be seen.
For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”
On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.
With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.
“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”
As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.
It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.
Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?
We’ll know in a month.
Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:
The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.
The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.
If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.
Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”
And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.
While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.