I have to admit that when Adrian Aucoin announced his retirement earlier this month, my first thought was: geez, he must not be playing all that well on the Columbus blueline. Or is it Phoenix? Or did he sign with Nashville in the off-season? Minny, right?
Oops, he was inactive. The market had dried up for the 40-year-old veteran defenseman of more than 1,100 NHL games.
It’s the kind of thing that sure, I should have known he wasn’t playing. But with so many free agents out there and teams always looking for veteran defenseman help, I didn’t know he slipped through the cracks.
So with Aucoin as my inspiration, here’s a primer of some players-who-got-at-least-a-point-in-the-NHL-last-season-but-haven’t-played-in-the-NHL-this-season.
Like me, I think you’ll be surprised by some of the names. We’ll lead it off with another Aucoin. Stats include games, goals, assists and points.
• Keith Aucoin, 35, with NYI last season, now in the AHL with Chicago (17-1-5-6).
• Vinny Prospal, 38, with Clb last season, not playing.
• Ian White, 29, with Det last season, not playing.
• Brett Clark, 36, with Min last season, not playing.
• Jose Theodore, 37, with Fla last season, not playing.
• Peter Mueller, 25, with Fla last season, now in Switzerland with Kloten (24-11-9-20).
• Alexander Burmistrov, 22, with Wpg last season, now in the KHL with Kazan (32-7-18-25).
• Guillaume Latendresse, 26, with Ott last season, now in Switzerland with Zurich (12-3-3-6).
• Marc-Andre Bergeron, 33, with Car last season, now in Switzerland with Zurich (26-4-12-16).
• Bobby Butler, 26, with Nsh last season, now in the AHL with San Antonio (18-5-7-12).
• Nick Johnson, 27, with Phx last season, now in the AHL with Providence (18-9-4-13).
• Bruno Gervais, 29, with Phi last season, now in the AHL with Adirondack (18-3-7-10).
• Chris Bourque, 27, with Bos last season, now in the KHL with Kazan (11-2-0-2).
• Jeff Schultz, 27, with Wsh last season, now in the AHL with Manchester (20-1-1-2).
• Colton Gillies, 24, with Clb last season, now in the AHL with Rochester (12-1-3-4).
• Benn Ferriero, 26, with NYR last season, now in the AHL with Utica (17-6-5-11).
• Mathieu Garon, 35, with TB last season, now in the KHL with Omsk (3-9-0, 2.46, .893).
Brian Costello is The Hockey News’s senior editor and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Brian Costello on Twitter at @BCostelloTHN