It's got to be a bitter pill to swallow.
Drayson Bowman, Zach Boychuk, and Jerome Samson have each tasted life in the NHL. And each of these players have stated that they feel like they belong here. Regardless, they were assigned to Charlotte today by the Carolina Hurricanes.
In all, 12 players were sent to the Checkers. Justin Peters, Brett Sutter, Chris Durno, Jon Matsumoto, Mathieu Roy, Bobby Sanguinetti, and Samson will have to pass through waivers. Yes, that means that any other team can pick them up, (like Brett Carson last year), but they need to stick on an NHL roster or they go back to the waiver wire.
The others sent to the Checkers, bypassing the waiver process were Chris Terry, Justin Krueger, Mike Murphy, Bowman, and Boychuk.
Each of these players have worked very hard to get to where they are today, but for whatever reason things didn't click this time around, or they just were not NHL ready. That's not to say that the book is closed though.
While the team was relatively injury free last season, the Hurricanes have had a few minor injuries already this preseason. Chad LaRose, Tuomo Ruutu, and Tim Brent have each missed games due to ailments or injuries. If this is any indication of what's to come, Boychuk, Bowman, and some of their company will be back sooner, rather than later.
The Canes currently have 24 on their roster. While they have three extra defensemen, including Ryan Murphy and Justin Faulk, they only have one extra forward, (Riley Nash). Nash is reportedly filling in for Ruutu, who is expected to sit out the final two preseason games this weekend. The young center will probably also be reassigned when Ruutu is ready to return.
But if any other injuries pop up? One or more of our friends down in Charlotte will be making a return trip.
Many teams will carry an extra forward on their roster most of the season, but the Canes don't feel the need to do so. Why have someone twiddling their thumbs in the press box when they could be playing just a couple of hours away?
While Samson, Bowman, and Boychuk have each been solid enough when they had their chances, they just haven't done enough extra to put them up and above their competition. There's no shame in that. If they can keep a positive attitude and keep their heads up, (like they have done in the past), they will have another chance to shine and maybe then they will get hot and break through.
Unlike in the past, when the Hurricanes depth chart had more holes in it than a pasta strainer, the Canes have ample talent waiting in the wings if needed.
For now, this is what the forward lines look like. More about this tomorrow in our game preview.
- Ponikarovsky, Staal, Dalpe
- Skinner, Ruutu, (Nash) Jokinen
- Tlusty, Sutter, LaRose
- Stewart, Brent, Dwyer