As Devils fans, I believe there is only one way we can explain this trade: status quo. Am I right, or am I right?
Brian Rolston has been sent to go join Gilligan and the Skipper over on the Island, Long Island that is.
A purely business deal sent Rolston over to the New York Islanders in exchange for winger, Trent Hunter. Rolston has one more year left on his contract, collecting a whopping $5-million cap hit. Hunter, on the other hand, signed for two more years at $2-million. Clearly this was a salary cap move, for both organizations. The New Jersey Devils free up $3-million from their already limited salary cap, and the Islanders inch closer to the salary cap floor. Now the Devils have the cap room to sign Zach Parise to a pretty hefty, hefty, hefty, contract, and the Islanders don’t have to bring back Alexei Yashin—yet.
Seriously though, personally speaking, I’m okay with Rolston going to the Islanders.
It’s not because I wanted to vote him off the Devils, “Survivor” style, any moment I got. Personally, I was glad when we got him back on the team in 2008. As a young hockey padawan, I was saddened when he was traded away to Colorado in 2000. But then I learned he was traded for Claude Lemieux, and then we won a cup, so I was happy.
Brian Rolston is still a decent hockey player. At 38 years-old he will bring veteran leadership to the Islanders that they need due to the retirement of Doug Weight. Rolston gets his chance to be a top six-forward that he wanted to be with the Devils. However, injuries plus the acquisition of Ilya Kovalchuk dampened Rolston’s plans.
It was evident Rolston was going to be the odd man out when it came to dumping salary. He was waived last December in hopes that a team would pick him up on re-entry waivers and take half of his salary. No one did claim him and the Devils made best with what they could, and hey, Rolston did have an offensive spark that helped turn the team around in the second half.
Goodbye Brian, again. Hope for nothing but success with the Islanders for you.
I just hope the same result happens from the last time we traded you.
Follow Kevin Lankey on Twitter: @kevinlankey