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Brian Rolston clears waivers, will play for Devils tonight

Dec 15, 2010, 2:40 PM EDT

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Somehow, 29 NHL teams passed on a player who costs $5.06 million per season and whose age takes away the opportunity to hide his salary cap hit in the minors.

It turns out that Brian Rolston is still the New Jersey Devils’ problem, at least for now. The hard-shooting veteran forward cleared waivers this afternoon and therefore finds himself prepping for the team’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes at the Prudential Center tonight.

Going forward, the Devils have a few options. The first is to simply let him play with the big club/hope he gets hurt enough to go back on the long-term injured reserve. Failing that, New Jersey could send him to Albany in the AHL, but that would be illogical because his salary cap hit would still impact the pro team. Failing those two options would leave the Devils with one other alternative: they can place Rolston on re-entry waivers.

If an NHL team claimed him on re-entry waivers, the Devils would be responsible for paying half his salary and would take on half of his salary cap hit while his new team would cover the other 50 percent.

It might be a tough period for Rolston, but he is at least saying all the right things. Here is what he told the Newark Star Ledger.

“It’s a business. We understand that,” said Rolston following the skate. “It definitely difficult but at the same time, I’ve been around for a while. I don’t think it affects me as much as it would maybe a young player. So I feel fortunate about that.

“I’m a professional. I’ll be prepared to play tonight. I’ll play as hard as I possibly can.”

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