Owen Nolan's road back to the NHL has hit a dead end.

The 39-year-old former all-star was released by Vancouver on Sunday after the Canucks lost 4-3 to the San Jose Sharks in a pre-season game.

Nolan had a goal and an assist in three pre-season games with the Canucks as the native of Belfast, Northern Ireland attempted to resurrect his NHL career after playing last season with Zurich in Switzerland. The first overall pick of the 1990 draft  had 885 points in 1,200 NHL games with Quebec/Colorado, San Jose, Toronto, Phoenix, Calgary and Minnesota.

His best season was in 1999-00, when he had 44 goals and 40 assists in 78 games with the Sharks.

The Canucks also released former NHL forward Niko Dimitrakos from a professional tryout contract Sunday night, one day after doing the same to Steve Begin, and two days after cutting veteran goaltender Manny Legace from his tryout.

Vancouver also sent goalie Matt Climie and forward Antoine Roussel to its American Hockey League affiliate in Chicago after Sunday's loss.