Patrik Elias' future in the NHL has come into question for the past three summers and this year will be no different, as the New Jersey Devils announced two days ago that the 40-year-old had undergone surgery on his right knee.
Injuries have cost the Devils' all-time leading scorer no less than 96 games in the past three seasons, limiting him to 19 games in 2015-16, though he did produce 8 points. If I were the team's GM, I would bring him back for a final season if he understood he'd be playing bottom-six minutes with second-unit powerplay time, so around 12-14 minutes per game where he could still contribute offensively but where he would have a sheltered role.
The two-time Stanley Cup champion does deserve the respect of ending his career with the only NHL team he's ever known and not have to Martin Brodeur it elsewhere for a sad half-season. With over 400 career goals, 600 career assists, 1000 points and 1200 games played, he has no milestone to set his sights on and can concentrate on just being a good team player, showing leadership and helping the team's youth develop.
Here's card of his from Upper Deck's 2010-11 Series 1 set (card #GJ-EL of the UD Game Jersey sub-set):