brianrolstonwaivers

Devils expected to place Brian Rolston on re-entry waivers this week with hopes of cap relief

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No one in their right mind would agree that Brian Rolston is worth more than $5 million at this point in his career. Probably not even Rolston or his agent Steve Bartlett, if you gave them some of that “Kill Bill: Volume 2” truth serum.

Yet the proposition of adding the hard-shooting forward becomes at least digestible when you cut his salary (and cap hit) in half to about $2.53 million. Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice passes along word from New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello that the team assigned Rolston to the Albany Devils in the AHL and will be placed on re-entry waivers, possibly as early as Wednesday at noon.

If someone decides to claim Rolston on re-entry waivers – which Lamoriello and the Devils hope – then the Devils will be responsible for half of the winger’s salary (and cap hit) for the remainder of this season and next, when it expires. Who knows how much interest there is for Rolston, even at half price, but there is precedent for these things to happen. The New York Rangers claimed Sean Avery off of re-entry waivers when the Dallas Stars decided they couldn’t deal with his antics anymore.

One of the many differences between Avery and Rolston is that it’s matter of business, rather than anything personal between the player and team.

“There’s nothing that he has done to warrant any type of not wanting him,” Lamoriello said. “This is a business situation. This is part of the hockey business. It’s not personal or anything about his character. We’re talking about a quality individual.”

Lamoriello said that Rolston and his agent, Steve Barltett, have been given permission to talk to other teams about a trade.

“He’s done everything asked of him,” Lamoriello said. “I still believe in Brian. He can still play in the NHL. It just hasn’t worked out. He’s not the only one that it hasn’t worked out with to this point. It’s unfortunate but we find ourselves in a position and you have to make certain decisions.”

Lamoriello does not anticipate placing any other players on the team on re-entry waivers.

We’ll let you know what happens, whether a team decides to relieve some of the Devils’ cap headaches or not.

Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins

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The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.

But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.

In the process, they held a red-hot Sidney Crosby off the score sheet, which has been a difficult, sometimes impossible task for opposing teams since about the middle of December. He entered this game with a seven-game scoring streak.

(In fact, New York held No. 87 to without a shot on goal in the entire game.)

Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 34 shots he faced for the shutout.

Kevin Hayes gave the Rangers the lead in the first period, before Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast put the game away in the third.

Pittsburgh remains in the second Wild Card spot in the East. The Rangers now move three points clear of the rival Islanders for second in the Metropolitan.

Video: Wideman hearing ‘a tricky case’ as NHLPA hopes to get 20-game suspension reduced

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There is no certain timeline for when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman might rule on Dennis Wideman‘s appeal, according to a report from hockey insider Darren Dreger on NBCSN, as the Calgary Flames defenseman hopes to get his 20-game ban for hitting linesman Don Henderson reduced.

“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.

“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”

Report: Coyotes shut down Vitale (concussion) for the season

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Joe Vitale will not play again this season.

The Arizona Coyotes have shut Vitale down for the remainder of the 2015-16 campaign due to “concussion-related issues,” according to a report from Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports on Wednesday.

Vitale, a 30-year-old veteran center, appeared in only one game for the Coyotes this season. That was back on Oct. 17, when he suffered a concussion and broken orbital bone in a fight with Kevan Miller of the Boston Bruins.

Sens announce Frattin, acquired in Phaneuf deal, will stick with AHL Marlies

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Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.

But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.

On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.

Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.

Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.