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Devils put Brian Rolston and his $5.062 million cap hit on waivers

Dec 14, 2010, 1:13 PM EDT

Philadelphia Flyers v New Jersey Devils - Game Five Getty Images

Another season in New Jersey is not going the way Brian Rolston would like it to. Last year, Rolston struggled terribly and now this year he’s been placed on waivers. With Rolston, the immediate thought is that he’s being waived in order to clear his monstrous salary from the books. Rolston’s cap hit this year and next year is $5.062 million and makes life difficult on the Devils with them being so tight to the cap. There’s a catch though as his contract is a 35+ deal, meaning that he signed it as he was 35 years-old or older and it stays on the salary cap regardless of what happens to him. Sending him to the minor leagues does no good.

So what’s the thinking here from Devils GM Lou Lamoriello? It’s possible that he’s thinking Rolston’s cap hit as it stands is too much for any team to bear, but if he brings him back on re-entry waivers a team might be willing to take him at half the cost. Any player claimed on re-entry waivers has the cost split between the team claiming him and the team putting him on waivers in the first place.

It’s a desperate move for Lamoriello to try and gain cap space in order to either move other players around or try to add help from the outside to try and get the Devils somehow back in the running for the playoffs. As it is, they’re the 14th place team in the Eastern Conference and a whopping 18 points out of eighth place. If nothing else, waiving Rolston could serve as a message to everyone that a job isn’t guaranteed so they’d better shape up or ship out.

For now, we’d like to think that Rolston’s future in New Jersey isn’t secure. He can still contribute to a team, just don’t bank on him being a 30-goal player anymore. He’s still got a big shot that’s useful on the power play and for all intents and purposes, he’s a third line player now. Paying $5 million for a third liner is absurd, but paying him $2.5 million to play that role makes a lot more business sense.

 

  1. sknut - Dec 14, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    If a team claims him on re-entry waivers are they on the hook for next year at the full value of 5 million then? For half a year I could see teams taking a chance but for a 1.5 years it will be tough.

  2. spizzjr - Dec 14, 2010 at 4:21 PM

    As a die hard(struggling) islander fan despite paying the five next year (should that be the case) the islanders have so much cap room I think they’re still paying yashin and bates etc…..just to hit the cap floor I think they would be nuts to look the other way at such a generous Christmas gift like this. Not only are the islanders the worst team in the league right now they’re so bruised battered and broken that kids who are nowhere near NHL ready are being rushed up to fill injury spots, they will not be able to win this way despite being committed to a young team and building from within, look at it from a player and fans perspective GM Garth Snow you need at the very least a few solidified NHLers and one or two veterans sprinkled in or these players will go absolutely nowhere. You owe your fans and your players that much. Johnny Tavares is an unbelievable hockey talent but you will murder his career unless you get him help next to him and with all your veterans and solidified talent on the injured list your ruining these players game.

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