Personally I'd like us to keep him. It's not like we don't have the cap space to keep him, so why not keep him? He's a solid third liner at worst and still could surprise us with a new coach if somehow the god almighty decides to keep Rusty in one piece this season. He can't get a serious injury every season, can he?
That being said, I totally understand the people who want to get rid of him. He hasn't shown much these past years and is injury prone to say the least. I wouldn't mind seeing him leave but it's just our current financial situation that makes us almost need Olesz and his contract to get us to the cap floor.
...and to be on-topic and to answer your questions:
1) There hasn't been any real news about his knee in some time now. I quess you could expect him to be there when the season starts but who knows really. Maybe someone has more of inside information about his situation.
2) They are definitely considering it. As I said in my previous post, I'm not sure if the Panthers will, can, want or even have to buy him out this summer since we are so much under the cap floor. He hasn't really shown anything spectacular on the ice to make him earn his salary, but he has still been a pretty good 3rd liner at worst IMO so his play doesn't hurt his team.
3) Well probably yeah, but as I stated already, Panthers aren't a team right now who need to or even can make any major salary dumps. They are currently about 30 million under the cap floor so they need to spend pretty much money just to reach that floor. The situation may change after the draft and FA when we se where we stand financially.
The last day to buyout a player is June 30th IIRC.
According to previous posts, this would be the last summer we could buy him out with the cap hit being relatively low.
99% sure he is in Tallon's doghouse, not sure how Dineen feels about him.
The nice thing is that his contract isn't hurting us too much cap space wise, but it still is(will be) a burden on a cash strapped team.