Short on defensemen, but apparently even shorter on sentimentality, the Ducks on Wednesday released Milos Holan without playing him in any of their first four exhibitions.
Holan's hockey comeback from leukemia evidently is over. He plans to return this week to his native Czech Republic.
General Manager Pierre Gauthier gave Holan the option of playing for the Ducks' minor-league affiliate in Cincinnati, but the 27-year-old defenseman declined.
Holan underwent a lifesaving bone marrow transplant in 1996 and, after a lengthy recovery period, was cleared to play last summer.
"We're in the business of winning hockey games," Gauthier said when asked before the Ducks' 5-4 loss to the Colorado Avalanche at the Arrowhead Pond if he considered playing Holan in an exhibition before making a decision on his future. "He's come so far. This is a great story. Let's not lose sight of that. He was pretty good at camp. It was not like he was out of place."