Free agent forward Jamal Mayers wants to play at least one more season in the NHL.
That’s the message his agent Pat Brisson sent to the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday.
“[Mayers] would like to return,” Brisson wrote in an e-mail. “We are optimistic we will have a team come September.”
It also seems pretty certain that team won’t be the Chicago Blackhawks. The 38-year-old played in 19 regular season games but didn’t make a playoff appearance in 2013. Even so, Mayers thinks he can still play, as he said following the Blackhawks’ championship run.
“I feel like I can still skate, and in today’s game you have to be able to skate to keep up with those young kids,” Mayers said.
If there are no takers, he’s still made the most of his career, which spanned 915 regular season and 63 playoff games.
“If I do walk away, I can do it as a champion,” Mayers said.
The Edmonton Oilers have assigned center Leon Draisaitl to AHL Bakersfield.
The demotion of Draisaitl, 19, means 21-year-old rookie Anton Slepyshev has made the opening-day roster after scoring twice and adding two assists in exhibition action.
The Oilers experimented during the preseason with Draisaitl, a natural center, on the wing. He didn’t have a particularly poor camp, finishing with one goal and three assists in six games.
But Slepyshev apparently impressed more.
“He’s a young player but he’s played pro hockey before,” coach Todd McLellan told the Edmonton Journal. “You can see it.”
Slepyshev played 58 games in the KHL last season, scoring 15 goals for Salavat Yulaev Ufa.
A preseason push by a number of Vancouver Canucks youngsters has left forward Linden Vey and defenseman Frank Corrado on waivers today.
The more surprising name of the two is Corrado, the 22-year-old who entered the season with an excellent chance of making the opening-day roster. However, it seems that rookie d-man Ben Hutton, 22, has been given the nod after finishing an eye-opening preseason with one goal and four assists in seven games. (This despite Hutton being waiver exempt. So it’s a risk for the Canucks, to be sure.)
It was the play of 19-year-old rookie Jared McCann that led, in part, to the waiving of Vey. (For more on that, click here.) Veteran Adam Cracknell remains with the team as well, to some surprise.
Rookie winger Jake Virtanen is also expected to be on Vancouver’s opening-day roster, though that’s no big shock.
Defenseman Alex Biega is also on waivers, as expected.