The Carolina Hurricanes reassigned forwards Michael Ryan and Jakub Petruzalek to Albany today. Both skaters made nice contributions for the Canes while they were with the club. More information from the presser:
Petruzalek, 23, made his NHL debut, and earned his first NHL point with an assist, in the Hurricanes’ 4-3 shootout win at San Jose on Feb. 5. The Litvinov, Czech Republic, native also skated in Carolina’s 7-2 win at Phoenix on Feb. 7, and returns to Albany with a team-leading 22 assists and team second-best 34 points in 47 AHL games this season.
Ryan, 28, returns to Albany after having played in four of the Hurricanes’ last five games, averaging 5:42 of ice time in those contests. The Boston, MA, native leads all River Rats skaters with 23 goals and 36 points in 36 AHL games played this season.
Ryan was healthy scratched for the Phoenix game after the acqusition of Jussi Jokinen, but Petruzalek played in the 7-2 shellacking.
What this means is that Scott Walker or Rod Brind'Amour, or both of them, are ready to take the ice again. The Canes looked faster without the older players during the past couple of games. Will the loss of the two youngsters hurt the Canes?
Another question needs to be asked. If both Walker and Brind'Amour are ready to return, then who sits? Ryan Bayda? Jussi Jokinen? Patrick Eaves? A valid argument could be made for each of these players to stay in the lineup. Paul Maurice has some difficult decisions to make. It's going to be tough to break up the present lineup after such a dominating performance like the one in the desert.
Last season the Canes did well when reinforcements from Albany came to the rescue. Then at the end of the season when the previously injured veterans returned, the team faltered. Will history repeat itself?