Mottau in limbo waiting for next NHL employer

Mottau in limbo waiting for next NHL employer
September 20, 2012, 2:42 pm
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Bruins defenseman Mike Mottau has offers from Europe, and he knows hell able to play hockey somewhere this season. But Mottau isnt quite ready to bolt away from friends and family in Massachusetts without a job to come back to in the NHL when logic and fairness finally prevail in the CBA negotiations between the NHL and the NHLPA.

The 34-year-old blueliner and former Hobey Baker Award winner at Boston College never found an NHL suitor during the summer free agent frenzy, and it doesnt appear hell be returning to Boston when the NHL does resume after the Bs signed former Blue Jackets defenseman Aaron Johnson.

So instead Mottau is waiting things out while playing the role of full-time dad from his Avon home while working out on the South Shore with fellow NHL lockout victims, and hoping for a quick resolution.

Ill be around for a while, said Mottau to CSNNE.com earlier this week. Im going to wait it out and see if I can land a job once the CBA gets squared away. Europe will be an option after that.

The veteran depth players like Mottau are some of the silent victims of the lockout as NHL teams arent going to spend discretionary money on them until theyre 100-percent clear on the terms of the new CBA and salary cap structure. Veterans like Mottau, Radek Martinek, Brett Clark, Petr Sykora, Dominic Moore, Jason Arnott, Mike Knuble and Andrew Brunette are all in the same puck limbo while Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman work their magic.

From 2007-2010 Mottau was skating 20 minutes per night as a full-time defenseman for the New Jersey Devils, and had carved out a nice little niche for himself as a heady, efficient blueliner that paid attention to detail in his own end. Things went south as they so often do for NHL players when Mottau headed to Long Island for two tours of duty with the New York Islanders.

Injuries limited Mottau to 49 games over two years and a minus-22 rating, but the defenseman showed he was healthy and effective after a late season deal to his hometown Bruins last year. His steady play gave Claude Julien options in the playoffs when the ineffective Joe Corvo and injuries conspired to give the veteran blueliner a shot in the lineup.

Mottau had voiced a willingness to potentially play a role as a sixseven defenseman for the Bruins this season as that rare veteran a blueliner capable of sitting out for chunks of time and then jumping in without missing a beat at a moments notice. But now the defenseman is open to a job with any of the 30 teams with 332 NHL games played in his career including regular season and playoffs. That puts him just one more NHL campaign away from a full NHL players pension (it kicks in at 400 NHL games played) he would have easily earned three years ago if the injury bug hadnt caught up to him in Long Island.