Apr 5, 2014; Raleigh, NC, USA; New Jersey Devils defensemen Marek Zidlicky (2) is congratulated by teammate forward Travis Zajac (19) after his 2nd period goal against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Rod Pelley: Career AHLer or Potential Depth Player?

A couple of days ago, Tom Gulitti broke the news that Albany captain Rod Pelley will return for the 2014-15 season on a 2-way contract. Gulitti did not have salary details but Pelley made $150,000 in the AHL with an NHL salary of $550,000. The new deal can be expected at around 150-160 thousand dollars for an AHL salary.

Pelley spent 5+ years with the Devils and bounced back and forth between the then-Lowell Devils and the New Jersey Team. He then spent just short of 2 seasons with the Anaheim Ducks and played 45 games with the NHL team. He spent his second season in the AHL, playing for Norfolk.

Pelley is the kind of guy that may end up a career AHL player, but also could bring a veteran leadership to the AHL team he plays for.

Last season, Pelley returned to the Devils organization and played in Albany for the entire season. In 78 games, including 4 Calder Cup playoff games, Pelley recorded 13 goals and 7 assists.

Pelley isn’t that young and is turning 30 in two days time. It is tough to tell what Pelley can really bring to the team at this point with guys like Reid Boucher, Stefan Matteau, and Joe Whitney waiting in line as well. There are also guys like Mike Sislo and Tim Sestito that bounce up and down on a regular basis.

Until all of these guys have their roles sorted out, then Pelley most likely leads the second wave. Even then, it is tough to tell what kind of chance Pelley would get. He plays at a Center position that is pretty congested as it is. Pelley is the kind of guy that may end up a career AHL player, but also could bring a veteran leadership to the AHL team he plays for.

A lot of times, there isn’t much of a veteran presence on AHL teams when they are loaded with prospects and young players trying to prove their worth. Pelley is the kind of player that can bring veteran presence to a team full of inexperience in the professional leagues.

Despite Rod Pelley spending a lot of time in the AHL, he still has 214 NHL games under his belt. Pelley played in 63 and 74 games in the 09-10 and 10-11 NHL season respectively for the New Jersey Devils. He has definitely had the taste of both worlds and can be very valuable to a team, even if he isn’t dazzling with production.

Is Rod Pelley stuck in AHL purgatory or can he be a future depth player? There is no denying what he can bring to an AHL team and could receive a shot as a depth player in case of injury.


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