Free agent forward Kristian Huselius sounded off recently about the treatment he received as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets this past season.
He accused the team of forcing him back into the lineup before he was ready following his recovery from a torn pectoral muscle in the offseason.
Here is what he had to say in an interview with Swedish media outlet Aftonbladet, via the Columbus Dispatch:
"I had not a single practice with the team before coming back. I had one game to get acclimated. Then I went into (the next) NHL game and played 21 minutes. I think they acted wrong against me. My groin broke in the second game. I had not built up muscle mass and was not fit or ready to play.
"Columbus was in a vulnerable position and was out of playoffs. Perhaps it was this situation that made that they wanted to bet everything on one card."
There's no question that Columbus was in a "vulnerable position" at that point and was no doubt desperate, losing 18 of its first 25 games, a start that resulted in a coaching change and eventually led to the trade of forward Jeff Carter to the Los Angeles Kings.
Before entering what was the final year of a four-year, $19 million contract that he signed with the team prior to the 2008-09 season, Huselius tore a pectoral muscle last summer while training in Sweden. It sidelined him for the first two months of the regular season before he was finally able to make his season debut in early December. He played 19 minutes in a 6-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers before logging just 12 minutes in his second game (the one where his groin "broke") on December 6.
He never appeared in another game for the remainder of the season.
During his four years with the Blue Jackets he scored 58 goals in 189 games. He was able to play just 41 games over the final two years due to various injuries.
When asked about the comments from Huselius, Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson told Aaron Portzline of the Dispatch that he is "confident Kristian received exceptional medical care."
Huselius remains unsigned as a free agent.