Despite the fact he turns 40 in a few days and hasn’t played since mid-December, Patrik Elias still wants to get in a final few games — or, game — for New Jersey this season.
“I feel as good as I’m going to feel in this week coming up, so it’s up to me and John [Hynes, Devils head coach] to make the decision together if I’m in for one, two or three games,” Elias said on Monday, per NorthJersey.com. “It’s just communicating, that’s all.”
Elias, who’s appeared in just 13 games this season, has spent nearly all of the campaign dealing with a troublesome knee injury. He underwent arthroscopic surgery on Jan. 12 to repair a torn meniscus, and clean out some loose cartilage. That procedure came after he missed all of training camp and the first 20 games of the year with issues in the same knee.
Given his age, health and contractual status — he’s an unrestricted free agent in July — several pundits figured this would be it for the veteran Czech winger, who’s spent his entire 19-year career with the Devils and is one of the greatest players in franchise history.
But Elias really doesn’t sound ready to walk away.
Aside from pushing to return for the final three games of New Jersey’s season, Elias said he isn’t looking at these three games as his last ones.
“It could happen,” Elias explained. “I’m not going into them thinking that, but nobody knows what the future holds.”