Nathan Paetsch’s hopes of returning to the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings were squashed Saturday as the team released the defenseman from his professional tryout contract.
Paetsch has not played in the league since 2009-10, when he split the campaign between the Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets. He signed a one-year contract with the Florida Panthers in July 2010 and was traded to the Vancouver Canucks prior to the start of the season, but he spent the entire 2010-11 campaign in the minors.
The 33-year-old Paetsch spent the following season in Germany but returned to North America to sign with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League and has played for the club ever since.
Selected by Buffalo in the second round of the 2001 draft, Paetsch made his debut with the Sabres in 2005-06, notching an assist in his only game. He appeared in a career-high 63 contests the following season, scoring two goals and recording a personal-best 22 assists.
Paetsch spent the next 2 1/2 seasons with the Sabres before being dealt to the Blue Jackets on March 3, 2010 for Raffi Torres. He failed to record a point in 10 games for Columbus after registering a goal and an assist in 11 contests with Buffalo.
The 6-foot-1, 198-pound Paetsch has collected seven goals and 35 assists in 167 career games with the Sabres and Blue Jackets. A native of Saskatchewan, he also appeared in one playoff contest for Buffalo in 2005-06.