New Jersey Devils: Rolston Clears Re-Entry Waivers

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New Jersey Devils: Rolston Clears Re-Entry Waivers

The New Jersey Devils' Brian Rolston cleared re-entry waivers today and will remain Devils property.

Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello gave Rolston permission to seek a trade or find a team willing to claim him on Tuesday, when he assigned the left-winger to Albany of the AHL.

Yesterday, Rolston expressed hope at starting fresh with another team. It appears as though that won't happen.

The Devils can either keep Rolston in Albany, where he has to play games for them, or return him to their roster. The team will still be responsible for Rolston's $5,062,500 salary, even if he stays in the minors.

It's clear from the team's standpoint that Rolston has played his final game for the Devils. His production isn't anywhere near the level of his contract and injury concerns are always present. The contract will, however, be a sticking point for many other NHL general managers. They don't want a 38-year-old player on the back end of his career taking five million in cap space.

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Rolston Hoping To Be Claimed Off Re-Entry Waivers

Brian Rolston, who cleared waiver yesterday, wants a fresh start with another team.

"I feel I have a lot of hockey left in me and, obviously, my salary doesn't help," Rolston told Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record. "I feel I can really help a team if given an opportunity." 

The Devils' left-winger was placed on re-entry waivers today at noon. Other teams can claim Rolston and pay half his $5,062,500 salary. The Devils would be responsible for the other half during the life of his contract. 

Teams with the fewest points/worst records can place claims first. Teams must place claims by Thursday at noon.

Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello gave Rolston and his agent permission to either find a team willing to claim him or search for a trade.

"We're working on finding a team," the Devils' left winger told Gulitti. "It's in the works. We're working on it."

If Rolston clears re-entry waivers, he will either need to play for Albany of the AHL or report to the Devils. Rolston would be willing to do either, but isn't looking too far down the road.

"If that happens, it happens," he said to Gulitti. "I have no control over that. I'm hoping I can get with a team and move on here. I'd like a fresh start. That would be great, but we'll see what happens."

Rolston's two-plus seasons with the Devils have been a disappointment. After being a 30-goal scorer in Minnesota, Rolston has failed to post a single 30-goal season with the Devils. Injuries and ineffective play marred his performance. 

The Devils' left-winger took responsibility for his performance.

"I have a lot of feelings about my whole situation, how it's gone for me here in New Jersey," Rolston said to Guliiti. "At this point, I'm indifferent about it. It's been a rough ride and I'm just hoping I can go to a place where I can get a fresh start to finish off the last couple of years here (to his contract)"

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New Jersey Devils: Lemaire Said Team Decided To Place Rolston On Re-Entry Waivers

Jacques Lemaire seemed to draw the best out of Brian Rolston.

In his three seasons on the Minnesota Wild under Lemaire, Rolston produced 192 points (96 goals, 106 assists). He became a steady powerplay producer (94 points) and his shooting percentage never dipped below .100.

Even as he struggled in his second stint with New Jersey, Rolston had his best season under Lemaire. Last year, the Devils' left-winger recorded 37 points (20 goals, 17 assists) while playing 80 games.

"Rollie, he played good for me for years," Lemaire said to Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record. "Its a team decision right now. The organization has got to go through a certain way and Lou is making the decisions on it."

Rolston's teammates felt sympathy for the left-winger.

"They've got to make decisions on the future of this hockey club, so that's what they decided to do," Martin Brodeur told Gulitti. "It doesn't say that he's not going to come back, but they're definitely trying something. It's unfortunate. It's always difficult when you have close friends or teammates and they have to go through this, not just for them but for their families also."

"When that happens to someone, you feel for them with what's going on," captain Jamie Langenbrunner said to Gulitti. "We know it's part of the business, but it still doesn't change the fact that it (stinks) when it happens."

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New Jersey Devils Assign Rolston To Albany, Will Be Placed On Re-Entry Waivers

In a not so unexpected move, the New Jersey Devils assigned Brian Rolston to Albany of the AHL and plan to place the winger on re-entry waivers.

General manager Lou Lamoriello said the decision is nothing personal.

"It's part of the system and it's a decision we make," Lamoriello told Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record. "I don't know whether you call it anything other than that - a decision."

New Jersey originally placed Rolston on waivers December 14. He was allowed to play in either 10 games or or remain on the roster for 30 days without clearing waivers again to be sent down. He cleared waivers December 15 and played six games. 

Rolston signed a four year, $20.25 million contract with the Devils on July 1, 2008. New Jersey expected to receive a proven 30-goal player who could quarterback the powerplay. Instead, the team received two-plus years of injured and ineffective play. Rolston hasn't come close to 30 goals and hasn't been much of a force on the powerplay in his second stint with New Jersey.

In 21 games this season, Rolston has five points (two goals, three assists) and is -12.

While in Albany, the Devils will still owe Rolston an annual salary of $5,062,500 because he signed his contract as a 35 or older player.

If claimed on re-entry waivers, teams would pay half of Rolston's salary ($2,531,250). The Devils would be responsible for the other half during the life of the contract. Rolston has a year and a half remaining on his contract.

Lamoriello said he's allowing Rolston and his agent, Steve Bartlett, to seek a trade.

"I still believe in Brian. He can still play in the NHL," Lamoriello said to Gulitti. "It just hasn't worked out. He's not the only one that it hasn't worked out with to this point. It's unfortunate but we find ourselves in a position and you have to make certain decisions."

The Devils' general manager believed it's time to put a young player in Rolston's position.

"This is nothing personal with Brian as far as his demeanor. There's nobody more positive than Brian," Lamoriello told Gulitti. "It's unfortunate it did not work out the way that we hoped that it would through no one's fault. With his playing time and what the results have been, it's time to put a younger player in there."

The Devils recalled Vladimir Zharkov from Albany yesterday. He will likely take Rolston's spot on the roster.

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