Matteau to stick around Jersey, it seems

Devils 2012 first-round draft pick Stefan Matteau will play Thursday for the Devils, in place of an injured Dainius Zubrus. Zubrus is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Why is this significant?

Rookies like Matteau can play five games at the NHL level before the club has to decide whether to keep the player around, thus burning the first year of his entry-level contract, or send him back to his junior team.

Thursday's match against the Tampa Bay Lightning will be Matteau's sixth NHL game, which will trigger the first year of his deal.

Matteau played the first five games of the season, but was scratched for the past four until Zubrus' injury allowed him to stick around. Perhaps Zubrus should charge him a little extra in rent, now that Matteau will be making a pro-rated NHL salary.

Incidentally, Matteau has been living with Zubrus since joining the club.