It appears the playing career of defenseman Stephane Robidas is over but that doesn’t mean he’s leaving the sport of hockey altogether, according to Lance Hornby in the Toronto Sun. The veteran of 15 NHL seasons injured his leg during training camp last year and is still unable to resume any hockey-related activities. But while he can’t suit up for the Maple Leafs, Robidas will still be able to contribute to the organization in his new role as a consultant.
Robidas, in the final year of a three-year 35+ deal with an AAV of $3MM, says he will be based in Montreal and work with the Toronto Marlies and scout some NCAA games. While not technically retiring – he will be placed on IR by the team thus negating his cap charge – Robidas concludes his NHL career with 258 point and 713 penalty minutes in 937 NHL games.
Elsewhere around the NHL:
- The Ottawa Senators announced via the team’s website that they have signed defenseman Matt Bartkowski to a PTO agreement. Bartkowski, who has appeared in parts of six NHL campaigns, five with the Bruins, saw action in a career-high 80 games last season with Vancouver. He tallied a career-best six goals – ironically the first goals of his NHL career – and tied his career-high with 18 points. Bartkowski, a left defender, will likely compete with Mark Borowiecki for a spot on the third pair. Borowiecki, coming off he season in which he netted just two points and averaged just 14:38 of ice time, could be vulnerable to a challenge for his job.
- Due to cap restrictions and the desire to get younger, the New York Rangers have had to make some difficult roster decisions the last two summers. Among them were the decisions to deal winger Carl Hagelin and pivot Derick Brassard in back-to-back offseasons. Those trades were particularly tough on the team’s leading scorer in 2015-16, Mats Zuccarello, who saw both of his best friends shipped off to other organizations. While he understands that’s the nature of the business, he did have some advice for his teammates: “Don’t be friends with me. Or else you might be traded,” as Larry Brooks of the New York Post writes. All kidding aside, Zuccarello already feels in mid-season form due to his participation in both the Olympic qualifying tournament and the World Cup of Hockey. As Brooks notes, Zuccarello has already seen action in 10 games, helping Norway qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics and skating with Team Europe in the World Cup. He is also looking forward to the new NHL season getting started and is excited by what management has done this summer.