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."