Patrik Elias is taking a wait-and-see approach to his future. Devils GM Ray Shero seems as though he’d be happy to have Elias back, but it will all depend on the veteran winger’s health following off-season knee surgery.
Patrik Elias started his career as a Devil and he will end it as a Devil. The only question is whether his final game with New Jersey came in April or if that farewell contest is yet to come.
Elias, 40, is still unsure about his future with the team. The veteran winger, who scored one goal and three points in the final game of the Devils season, underwent off-season knee surgery after missing 45 games with a knee injury this past campaign and New Jersey GM Ray Shero said the plan is simply to monitor Elias’ progress while waiting for a decision.
“Once he starts getting the green light to start ramping up his training off ice, we’ll see where that takes him and certainly when he gets back on ice, if it’s going to be later in the summer, we’ll see where that goes,” Shero told NJ.com’s Chris Ryan. “And his body will tell him or his knee will tell him how he feels, and we’ll be in constant communication with Patrik.”
Shero said the operation that Elias underwent wasn’t one that simply had to do with playing hockey, though. The ailment was obviously one serious enough that it was hindering Elias’ everyday mobility. If Elias were to have called it a career after the 2015-16 campaign, he still would have gone under the knife to help improve his “quality of life,” Shero said.
Elias’ agent, Allan Walsh, told Sportsnet in June that the longtime Devil wanted “desperately” to be able to suit up for one more season, but whether Elias’ body will allow that is to be seen. Walsh told Sportsnet that he and Elias were not planning on “talking to other teams” when it came to continuing the winger’s career.
“If Patrik is able to play at the level he expects himself to play, if he can contribute to a team, I think New Jersey would very much love to have him back,” Walsh told Sportsnet.
Other than Martin Brodeur, it could be argued that Elias is the most iconic Devil in the franchise’s history.
His 1,243 games played for New Jersey are the second-most in franchise history, and Elias’ 1,205 points are 324 than the second leading scorer in Devils history, John MacLean. No player in franchise history has more goals, assists, power play goals or game-winning goals than Elias, and he has two Stanley Cups and four Eastern Conference championships under his belt.
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