It appears Rostislav Olesz’s NHL return could be short-lived.
On Monday, the Devils placed Olesz on waivers after he made just 10 appearances for the club, notching two assists and no goals. The 28-year-old Czech — who hadn’t played in the NHL since 2011-12 — inked a deal with New Jersey right at the start of July’s free agency period, agreeing to a one-year, $1 million deal after being bought out by the Blackhawks during the compliance window.
(Should be noted $300,000 of the $1 million deal was a signing bonus contingent upon games played. It’s unclear how many Olesz needed to attain the bonus.)
The seventh overall pick at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Olesz looked like he was on his way to a productive career following two solid seasons in Florida under current Devils head coach Peter DeBoer. Olesz scored a career-high 14 goals in 2009-10, then posted 17 points in 44 games during an injury-shortened 2010-11 campaign.
A good scorer at the AHL level — he had 60 points in 64 games over two seasons with AHL Rockford after the Blackhawks acquired him from Florida — Olesz might get scooped up by a team looking for depth at forward, though his price tag might dissuade clubs from taking a chance.
Here’s your Stanley Cup playoffs schedule for tonight
People love star athletes because they can do amazing things. Even so, people also often love to see the occasional moment of weakness.
Aside from the occasional injury hiccup, Sidney Crosby‘s been as advertised after being a super-hyped No. 1 overall pick. He has that “Golden Goal,” two Olympic gold medals, a Stanley Cup ring and plenty of individual accolades.
Not many people expected the Capitals-Penguins series to be over in five games, but there’s a chance that could happen before the end of the week. After their 3-2 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh on Wednesday night, the Capitals are one loss away from being bounced from the 2016 playoffs.
The Capitals failed to take advantage of the fact that Kris Letang was suspended for Game 4 because of his hit on Marcus Johansson in Game 3. Letang is now set to return for Game 5 which makes Washington’s task even more difficult.
“We didn’t take advantage of it,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said, per NHL.com. “One thing I said to the guys coming into this, and we talked it about it yesterday, was when Kris got his suspension, is that they’re going to rally. Their whole team, their forwards are going to come back. They talked about they didn’t play their best game (in Game 3) and now they have Letang out and everybody had to step up on their side, and I thought they did.”
If you look back at the regular season, the Capitals were head and shoulders above the rest of the Eastern Conference and the league for a good portion of the season. Washington finished 11 points ahead of second place Dallas in the league standings and it looked like they had the team that would finally take them over the hump.
Although things look gloomy, it’s important to realize that the series is far from over. Many NHLers would tell you that the fourth win is always the hardest to come by in a best-of-seven series, and by no means is anyone expecting the Capitals to wave the white flag.
“Whenever you lose a game, it’s obviously an opportunity missed, but it had nothing to do with them missing some of their players,” said Caps forward Jay Beagle, per NHL.com. “We’re looking forward. Our back’s against the wall and the most important game of our lives is coming up.”
Game 5 goes Saturday night in Washington.
PHT Morning Skate: Shane Doan takes a (friendly) shot at the Miracle on Ice