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.
Update: The Devils will indeed play without Patrik Elias and Damien Brunner, according to the Newark-Star Ledger.
The New Jersey Devils’ task of ending their seven-game losing streak got harder this morning.
Two of the team’s top three scorers, forwards Damien Brunner and Patrik Elias, might be forced to miss tonight’s game against the New York Rangers, according to the Bergen Record.
Elias is being regarded as “doubtful” after he missed the team’s morning skate due to the flu. Rostislav Olesz took Elias’ spot on a line with Adam Henrique and Jaromir Jagr during practice and already confirmed that he’s playing. Olesz was scratched for Thursday’s contest and has only participated in three games this season.
Meanwhile Damien Brunner needed to leave Saturday’s practice early for “treatment.”
“He’s just dealing with some nagging stuff, so I would call him a game-time decision,” Devils coach Pete DeBoer explained.
If Brunner ends up missing the contest, then there’s a decent chance that Andrei Loktionov will be inserted into the lineup. As it is, Loktionov isn’t sure if he’ll be asked to play tonight.
This is all in addition to the absence of Ryane Clowe, who is dealing with a head injury.
Of course, the Rangers are missing several key players too, including Rick Nash and Ryan Callahan. Both teams have struggled out of the gate and could badly use these two points, but the Devils are unique in the NHL as the only winless team remaining.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Devils coach Peter DeBoer says Rostislav Olesz and Adam Larsson had great training camps but are struggling to start the season. (The Star-Ledger)
Editor’s Note: ProHockeyTalk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $4,000 Fantasy Hockey league tonight (Wednesday). It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $500. Starts at 8pm ET. Here’s the link.
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