Mike Mottau had been a regular participant in the informal NHL skates in Boston over the last three months, and continues to hope that a slot will open up for him once the lockout is over. The 34-year-old Mottau had some offers to play in Europe over the summer if he committed to the entire season, but the veteran defenseman held out hope on a couple of things: the NHL work stoppage wouldnt be a long one and that perhaps there would be a chance to re-sign with the Bruins.
But neither of those things appear realistic now with the lockout rolling right into December, and Mottau confirmed to CSNNE.com that he signed a veteran tryout agreement with the AHLs San Antonio Rampage. The former Hobey Baker Award winner at Boston College signed with the Florida Panthers farm team in the hopes of getting in game shape once the lockout is over.
Perhaps that will be soon, and perhaps it wont. But Mottau left for San Antonio on Wednesday and will start playing in games after skating with Shawn Thornton, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand and others for weeks in the Boston area.
I think I would be more valuable to a team if Im in game shape once the lockout gets settled, said Mottau.
That makes a lot of sense for the former Devils, Islanders and Bruins defenseman after he finished with a pair of assists and finished with a minus-11 rating in 36 games for the Isles and Bs last season. There should be room on an NHL roster for a dependable defenseman like Mottau, particularly if a lowered salary cap becomes an issue that teams are grappling with courtesy of any future CBA.
That would be the best outcome for a veteran like Mottau that was caught in a tough spot by the timing of the NHL lockout, but still has plenty to offer the right NHL team as a bottom-pairing defenseman at an affordable price.