Today’s release, from New Jersey’s PR staff:
“On Wednesday, Patrik Elias underwent successful surgery on his right knee. The procedure was performed at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City by Dr. Riley Williams. We will continue to monitor Patrik’s rehabilitation and progress.
“On Tuesday, Cory Schneider underwent successful surgery to repair a core muscle injury. The procedure was performed by Dr. William Meyers of the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia. His expected recovery time is approximately six weeks.”
Schneider’s procedure seems pretty straightforward, and his recovery time is unlikely to interfere with his participation in training camp.
Which makes Elias’ surgery the more intriguing of the two.
The Czech winger turned 40 in April and, with no contract for next season, there’s major uncertainty regarding his playing future. There was some speculation Elias would retire after returning from a lengthy absence in April, and scoring three points in a season-ending victory over Toronto.
It certainly would’ve been a nice sendoff.
But it’s possible this latest knee procedure is designed to allow Elias to return, and potentially re-sign with the only NHL club he’s ever known. He’s spent his entire 20-year career in New Jersey and is the franchise’s all-time leader in goals, assists and points.
Only Ken Daneyko and Martin Brodeur have played more games in a Devils uniform than Elias, but that could change should Elias return next season. He would need to appear in 44 games to pass Daneyko for first all-time.