Richard Matvichuk's Devils' career is about to come to an end. After meeting with Matvichuk this morning, team president and general manager Lou Lamoriello announced that he will try to trade the 34-year-old defenseman so he can have an opportunity to play elsewhere. Matvichuk was a healthy scratch for the team's first three regular season games.
Matvichuk did not practice today and will not accomany the team on its trip to Florida and Atlanta (Thursday and Saturday).
"We've already talked to (other teams) and more than likely something will be done in the near future," Lamoriello said.
Although Lamoriello said Matvichuk "can play" in the NHL, he wasn't a good fit for the new, puck possession system head coach Brent Sutter has installed.
"Every player is not fit for every system and every system is not fit for every player," Lamoriello said.
Lamoriello said he does not intend to place Matvichuk on waivers. That could change, however, if he isn't able to complete a trade. Matvichuk's $1.368 million salary might discourage some teams that would otherwise be interested in trading for him. It is possibly, but probably unlikely, that the Devils could use the money they save on Matvichuk toward signing another defenseman. Danny Markov is still available.
Rookie right wing Nicklas Bergfors did not practice today because of a sore left shoulder. Arron Asham was back after missing Tuesday's practice for personal reasons. Sutter kept the same line combinations in practice today that he finished with Monday afternoon in Ottawa. Martin Brodeur will start against the Panthers Thursday night.
Today's line combinations and defense pairings.
Forwards: Elias-Zajac-Gionta; Parise-Zubrus-Asham; Pandolfo-Madden-Clarkson; Rupp-Pelley-Brylin.
Defense: Oduya-Martin; Greene-Rachunek; Vishnevski-Mottau; Brookbank (extra).