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.