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Roloson skates, 'zero-percent chance' he'll return

EDMONTON, Alberta -- When word circulated that Dwayne Roloson skated briefly Friday before the Edmonton Oilers' morning skate, there was a buzz that the goaltender might return to play in the Stanley Cup finals.

So, will he play if the series against Carolina goes to Game 7?

"Zero-percent chance," Roloson, wearing shorts and a knee brace on his right leg, told reporters Friday. "As of right now, everything's been done in a brace and I haven't even tried to go on a butterfly yet and that's important for goalies. So, right now, I haven't even tried that and I am not even thinking of doing it.

"It's part of the rehab right now. We're pushing as hard as we can and [skating] is just part of it. To play, you can't really wear a brace, at least not for me. ... I am trying to do my rehab, I am not trying to do anything else."

Roloson was injured in Game 1 of the Cup finals when he was knocked into the goal post, suffering a third-degree strain in his MCL. Up to that point, Roloson was by far the Oilers' best and most consistent player, leading them on an unexpected playoffs run.

After Ty Conklin came in to replace Roloson late in the opener, he mishandled a puck, which led to Carolina's game-winning goal. Jussi Markkanen was then named the Oilers starter for the rest of the series.

The soft-spoken Finn has given Edmonton solid performances to help pull the series to 3-2 heading into another do-or-die game against the Hurricanes, on Saturday night at Rexall Place.

Roloson said Friday the rehab continued to go well and that "knock on wood, there haven't been any setbacks."

Oilers coach Craig MacTavish wasn't as definitive with reporters as Roloson, but he doubted a Roloson return.

"Never say never, if it goes nine, it's a possibility," quipped MacTavish. "[Roloson] wanted to give it a try, and I guess you never know, but very, very, very doubtful."

Roloson is set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. With many teams looking for goaltending help this offseason, Roloson will be a wanted man. The Oilers, who gave up a first-round draft pick at the trade deadline to acquire Roloson, will likely make every effort to keep the netminder.