Mottau in limbo waiting for next NHL employer

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Mottau in limbo waiting for next NHL employer

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.

Video: Chara hits practice goalie in groin

Video: Chara hits practice goalie in groin

BRIGHTON, Mass -- Life as an emergency practice goalie can be pretty rough.

Take, for instance, Mass State Trooper Keith Segee, who has suited up a couple of times for the Boston Bruins this season during times of need, and did exactly that during Wednesday’s optional practice for the Black and Gold.

Segee got caught with a Zdeno Chara cranked slap shot right in the family jewels, and then had to walk…er, crawl it off like any normal human being would after getting bombed by a guy that can shoot it 108-mph.

“He’s got the hardest shot of anybody I’ve ever seen,” said Segee, with a smile. “I had to take two or three laps around the rink after that one and skate it off.”

Give Chara credit for moving right over to Segee and giving him a tap on the backside for skating it off, and risking life, limb and perhaps a lot more to stop a few pucks for the Black and Gold.

Segee played at Revere High and Salem State College before joining the Mass State Police, and got the emergency gig through Bruins goalie coach Bob Essensa when Boston needed a practice goalie at the end of last week in Tuukka Rask’s absence.

Let’s hope Segee is okay at this point, or the Bruins captain could be looking at a few more moving violations in his future. 

Wednesday, March 29: Oilers back in the playoffs

Wednesday, March 29: Oilers back in the playoffs

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while gearing up for the last couple of weeks.

*The Edmonton Oilers will return to the Stanley Cup playoffs this season as it looks like Canada will be well-represented once again after last year’s absence.

*Let’s meet the man behind the push to bring the NHL to China, and introduce the game to billions of people.

*Eric Staal is enjoying his second act with the Minnesota Wild, and even better he’s totally flourishing there as well.

*Let’s hear it for the US Women’s team that stuck to their guns and got an unprecedented deal with USA Hockey that will allow them to focus on winning for the next four years.

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough has Steve Stamkos “really close” to a return for the Tampa Bay Lightning, in a concerning development for the Boston Bruins’ playoff hopes.

*Apparently things are getting a little heightened with the Los Angeles Kings as some of their prominent players skipped a media session in Calgary.

*For something completely different: Let’s hear it for the best news of the day, the Cash Cab is coming back.