Patrik Elias is one of those players that would look weird in any jersey that doesn’t carry a Devils logo on it. But like all good things, this relationship between club and player might be coming to an end.
Elias underwent knee surgery back in May and he’s still rehabbing in the Czech Republic.
The 40-year-old free agent played in just 16 games last season, scoring two goals and adding eight points during that span. The knee injury forced him to miss two big chunks of the regular season.
“He had to have the operation at the end of the season no matter what,” Devils GM Ray Shero said, per NJ.com. “If he was going to try to play, it was a necessity, and even if he wasn’t going to try to play, he was going to have it done anyway for his quality of life.
“Once he starts getting the green light to start ramping up his training off ice, we’ll see where that takes him and certainly when he gets back on ice, if it’s going to be later in the summer, we’ll see where that goes. And his body will tell him or his knee will tell him how he feels, and we’ll be in constant communication with Patrik.”
It sounds like Shero hasn’t completely closed the door on Elias’ potential return, but it doesn’t sound like he’s completely convinced he’ll be able to play again.
Elias has been a member of the Devils 1995-96. He’s played 1240 games with the team and scored 408 goals and 1025 points in his career and added 45 goals and 125 points in 162 playoff games. Elias was also part of the teams that won the Stanley Cup in 2000 and 2003.
Last month, Elias’ agent, Allan Walsh, told Sportsnet that his client wanted to play one more year.
“He desperately wants to play one more year,” said Walsh. “We’re not talking to other teams. If Patrik is able to play at the level he expects himself to play, if he can contribute to a team, I think New Jersey would very much love to have him back.”
It sounds like Shero and Elias’ knee will make the final decision.