Rostislav Olesz Source:

Panthers Roster: Rostislav Olesz

The Trade Deadline is February 28th at 3PM EST. What we’re doing everyday until then is do an honest roster break down of the current roster for the month of February.  Today, we look at Rostislav Olesz.

Where do I start with this one?  I guess at the beginning.  Rostislav Olesz (Rusty) was taken as the seventh overall pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.  A draft that hasn’t produced too many top players other than Alex Ovechkin (1st), Evgeni Malkin (2nd), Zach Parise (20th) and Mike Green (29th).  Sure there were a couple other players in that draft who’ve gone on to have decent careers, but those are the notables.

As for Olesz, a player from the Czech Republic, he has been a major disappointment overall.  When you look at his pre-draft stats I’m not sure what the scouts of the Florida Panthers were seeing.  He’s not big, isn’t overly physical, and has been know to rather pass than shoot.  Many times when he does shoot it’s a backhander, especially when involved in the shootout.  I’d like to read the evaluations of the scouts at that time and see what the notes were.

Olesz has also yet to play a full season in the NHL.  the most games he has played so far is 75 in 2006-2007.  Lots of bumps and bruises giving reason to think that he’s either injury prone, frail, or just has had a run of bad luck.  In 2007-2008 when he played in 56 games, he compiled 26 points on 14 goals and 12 assists.  June 30th of that summer his luck changed.  Financially.  Uncle Jack (Jacques Martin), who had no business being a general manager, signed Olesz to a god awful six year contract that allows Rusty to earn $3.125 million per year.  Based on this years production that works out to $625,000 per goal.

He has shown signs of having the ability to score, and pass.  He has shown signs of being able to play somewhat physical.  Most of the time though he has been stuck on the third or fourth line trying to grind his way back to the top six.  The coaching staff as well as the Bank Atlantic Center crowd wants Olesz to shoot more and pass less.  He’s said he gets it, but something must happen in the game, and it just doesn’t seem to materialize.

As for his future on the team, many think that his contract prevents the Panthers from trading him.  Probably so.  Although it’s possible to do in some sort of package, but the Cats would most likely have to take another bad contract back.  Once again, this could be a situation where a change of scenery would benefit a player, and bring out his true talent.  Or not.  He has three more years left on his deal, and unless he averages 20 goals per season minimum, this will be one of the biggest draft busts that the Panthers have made.  As well as one of the worst re-signings ever.

When Uncle Jack left behind the mess he made here in Florida to take that dream job in Montreal, he should have taken Olesz with him.  Maybe there’s hope yet.  I have a deal in mind that maybe the Canadiens would listen to.

What are your thoughts on Olesz?

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Tags: Draft Bust Florida Panthers Jacques Martin Rostislav Olesz Uncle Jack

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