NHL.com: Reports Brendan Witt has officially been bought out by the New York Islanders.
I'm a little disappointed he did not receive the same opportunity to win back a spot as Jon Sim did, but the current depth chart speaks for itself.
Despite how things worked out, I'm glad the Islanders approached him early before they had to give him a contract a few years ago.
At the time Witt was surprised he was offered a contract extension, thought the team would wait before making a decision, and acknowledged that they could have traded him.
Witt struggled with a lot of knee problems his final years here, and played hurt for long stretches. He seemed to finally gain mobility back in December 2008, and played out the season, but he got hurt in early 2009.
Unfortunately, last season his plus minus did reflect his play at times, and he was knocked around by opposing players.
Is was reported months ago that Garth Snow would not place Witt on re-entry waivers, but having written this are unconditional waivers the same thing, did those comments apply beyond the 2009-10 regular season?
Perhaps Witt's agent requested this, or the team wanted to move on and not hold him in Bridgeport which would be the fair thing to do, if Witt felt he could make another NHL team, or a trade could not be worked out?
I do believe Snow went easy on Witt with his comments when he was placed on waivers in February, he was not going to knock a player hurting/struggling unless the player puts him that position.
Witt went down to Bridgeport at a time he seemed to be hurt, but out of nowhere he was able to play three games in three days. When he arrived, I read nothing but blanket praise from Bridgeport management, his new teammates, and Witt played virtually every game before he has to leave the club for the playoffs because of family circumstances.
His play helped Bridgeport qualify for a playoff spot.
He did a solid job by all reports. Witt was classy in his interviews with Ct Post.
Did it seem appropriate, Anton Klementyev got called up over Witt, who was sitting for weeks before that one game? No, however Dylan Reese was more effective here than Witt, as was Andrew MacDonald.
I hope another NHL team gives Witt a chance. I do not believe this is the end for him, more a matter of him regaining his mobility and receiving a fresh start at full strength. He did not play often on a healthy Islander defense or team his last few years, he did seemingly play hurt far too often.
Of course, I remember him being hit by an SUV on 12/8, plus media attention from it.
But that night on the ice the Islanders lost another game they needed to win 6-2, which is what I remembered more. Witt had a second period penalty, the Flyers scored a pp goal within eight seconds. Philadelphia had three pp goals, and a shorthanded goal that night, after a 4-0 loss to Tampa, and the Flyer game, they traveled to Toronto, losing 3-2, the next day.
That key loss was at a point Philadelphia was struggling badly.
Overall it was great to have Brendan Witt on the New York Islanders, his early days with the team he was outstanding, and dominated several games in the physical department. He really re-invented his game coming out of the lockout, and put his body in front of any shot he could. A warrior in every hockey sense of the word.
Opening night last year he crushed Ruslan Fedotenko, no doubt many remember how he leveled Malkin long ago, or dominated Jagr in others. He even had the two goal game against Edmonton.
Classy man, a lot of fun to watch play hockey, who no doubt will be missed, and a great interview. Witt did a lot of excellent things for charity, not only here but in Washington.
Walking definition of what a hockey player should represent.
Here were Witt's comments when he was placed on waivers:
"I guess I'll find out tomorrow at noon if I get picked up or if not, I guess see if I go to Bridgeport or stay here," Witt said. " I guess we'll discuss that tomorrow."
"I'm sure he's disappointed," coach Scott Gordon said. "But we're a team in transition."
"I played with my knee for awhile, but I'm not one to complain about injuries. More than anything I'm just kind of shocked," Witt said. "Now I'll just sit and wait."
Did he feel like he got a fair shot this year?
"I think so," Witt said. "I think I could've played better, but it is what it is. Did it deserve this? I don't know, but it's just the way the business is and I'll try not to take it personal."