September 26, 2008
Sam Weinman has the news this morning that Petr Nedved's comeback attempt with the New York Rangers has ended, a day before the team leaves for Prague, Czech Republic. The second overall pick in the 1990 NHL Draft was trying to work his way back into the league after playing for HC Sparta Praha of the Czech Elite League:
The 36-year old Nedved even scored the other night in a pre-season game against Tampa Bay, but according to Glen Sather, the salary cap and Ranger prospects were what doomed him.
"I told him this summer we had a lot of young guys and we have only so many spots," Glen Sather told Weinman. "Plus, there's a cap issue to deal with. I thought he played well. I just knew what we'd be up against. But I didn't want to not give him the opportunity."
Either that or Sather didn't want to pay another American Airlines baggage fee of $15 on their flight to Prague.
The writing might be on the wall for Nedved's career, as there won't be many takers for a 36-year old player with a history of contract disputes, who's played for five different teams since the 2003-04 season and who was actually traded for a coach. What might be an option (a rich option at that, knowing Nedved's penchant for money over success) would be playing in the KHL.
They haven't signed an over-aged or useless NHL castaway in quite some time, right?
While Nedved will fade away from the NHL now, he'll always be a part of Pittsburgh Penguins hockey legend for his memorable fourth-overtime goal against the Washington Capitals during the 1996 playoffs.