SUN Hockey Pool

Roli wants out of Edmonton

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:15 AM ET

DALLAS -- Dwayne Roloson hasn't come right out and asked for a trade, but he's already moved his family out of town and says if a choice has to be made between sitting in Edmonton and playing somewhere else, there's no choice to be made.

At some point, and he's been at that point for some time, the need to play outweighs a guy's fondness for a city and an organization.

"Definitely," said Roloson, who hasn't played a game in 21 days, and isn't scheduled to start tonight in Dallas. "It's outweighs it big time."

It hasn't been easy riding the pine for weeks at a time, not knowing if a fresh start somewhere else is ever coming - and if it does, having no idea where your family will have to pack up and move to next.

And his trials on the ice have seeped into his personal life, to the point that his children, five and seven years of age, were coming home in tears after being teased at school.

"Playing in a Canadian city it's tough on the kids," he said after practice at American Airlines Arena. "They're young, but the older kids at the school know a little bit more and they're not afraid to ... kids are pretty mean.

"It gets pretty ugly at times at school. There have been times where the kids have come home crying. It's tough as a parent. You try to explain the situation and get them to handle it the best way without causing any problems."

They're back in Ontario now with their mother, waiting to see what happens between now and Feb. 26.

"They're pretty far away, but it's good for them to be in a situation where they're home and whatever happens, happens (at the deadline).

"That's just part of being an athlete," continued Roloson. "That's the ugly side of the game that nobody understands. Friends and family, they don't understand it.

"People say you live such a glamorous life, but at the same time they don't understand that she's a single mom from August till the end of the season and we have to get up and move (if and when a trade comes down). It's the ugly side that nobody sees and you have to deal with the situation."

It's been three seasons of extreme highs and lows for Roloson.

Acquired at the 2006 trade deadline, he helped Edmonton into the playoffs and became the Oilers' darling during their unlikely Stanley Cup finals run, stealing game after game to resounding chants of Roli, Roli Roli.

The Oilers came one game, maybe one knee injury, away from a sixth ring. Had they won it, Roloson was their runaway MVP.

He became an unrestricted free agent in the summer. And, at a time when players were jumping ship like the Oilers just hit an iceberg, he was one of the few guys who actually wanted to stay here. Signing him seemed a no-brainer.

He was great again last year, the best player in a miserable season.

This year, the bloom is clearly off the rose. He's not playing. He's not happy about not playing. Long stretches of inactivity make it difficult for him to come back and re-establish himself. He's lost six of his last seven starts, has one win since Dec. 13 and that contract, with its $3.6 million cap hit, that the Oilers couldn't sign quick enough, has become an albatross.

He's over 36, so even if they do buy him out, he still counts against the cap next year.

He wants out. The Oilers would love to move him - not only for their benefit, but because they want to what's best for a guy who did do so much for the team - but it's not easy trading a 38-year-old with a big ticket.

And he's not going to see a lot of work here.

"Roli is a little bit of an unknown because of the fact he hasn't played very much," said head coach Craig MacTavish.

"I don't doubt Matty Garon needs a rest at some point, but it's not likely to be Friday."


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