Center Brent Gilchrist, who was one of the role players in the Detroit Red Wings' bid to a second consecutive Stanley Cup title, was among those left unprotected for Monday's NHL waiver draft.
Gilchrist was expected to miss the season opener after undergoing hernia surgery earlier this month. He missed the final 20 regular season games last season and the Stanley Cup Finals with the ailment, which was originally thought to be a groin pull. Noted for his defense and checking ability, Gilchrist had 13 goals and 14 assists in 61 games last season.
Other notable veterans who were made available include Buffalo Sabres left winger Randy Cunneyworth, Florida Panthers center Kirk Muller, Los Angeles Kings center Ray Ferraro, New York Rangers defenseman Zarley Zalapski and Boston Bruins goaltender Jim Carey.
The 37-year-old Cunneyworth was left unprotected by the Sabres, who signed him to a free-agent contract in the off-season. The veteran captained the Ottawa Senators to an upset of the New Jersey Devils in the first round of the playoffs last season. He had two goals and 11 assists last season for the Senators.
The 32-year-old Muller had only eight goals and 21 assists in 71 games for the Panthers last season. Muller was sent to Florida in the 1996-97 season by the Toronto Maple Leafs after playing for the New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens -- with whom he won a Stanley Cup in 1993 -- and the New York Islanders.
Ferraro battled injuries last year and had just six goals and nine assists in 40 contests. The 34-year-old center has 333 goals and recorded a pair of 40-goal seasons.
Zalapski signed a free-agent contract with the Rangers in the off-season after playing for the Canadiens last season. The Rangers were the fifth team for the 30-year-old Zalapski.
Carey, the 1996 Vezina Trophy winner, had a 3-2-1 record with a 2.98 goals-against average in 10 games for the Bruins last season. He won 35 games in the 1995-9 season for the Washington Capitals but has a total of 78 victories over his four-year career.
A total of 190 players -- 21 of them goaltenders -- were left unprotected.
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