The Hurricanes made some changes to their roster Saturday, sending forward Ryan Dzingel to the Ottawa Senators for forwards Cedric Paquette and Alex Galchenyuk.
It’s clear from his immediate placement on waivers (that he’s since cleared) that the team probably doesn’t have plans for Galchenyuk. The opposite is true for Paquette. He drove to Raleigh and was on the ice for Monday’s morning skate, and is expected to enter the lineup for Monday night’s home game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Hearing Rod Brind’Amour and his new teammates speak, everyone clearly is excited to add Paquette’s hard-nosed style of play to the lineup. That’s an attitude he shares.
“I’m super excited to be here,” Paquette said. “I think it’s a great team. I never liked to play against them when I was in Tampa, so I’m looking forward to helping them win some games.”
In Paquette, the Canes aren’t adding a ton of offense in a player with just 86 career points in 386 career games.
But that’s not his role. He’s a physical player (who brings in 983 career hits) who can give the Canes some depth at center and help out on the penalty kill, which has helped him carve out his role over his eight-season NHL career.
“We just want to be that team that every shift is the same,” Brind’Amour said. “The grind and making it hard to play against. That’s the kind of player he is, and he’ll fit in well with our group because of that.”
Brind’Amour has already told Paquette that same style of play that’s earned him a spot throughout his career is what he wants to see from him here.
Paquette has no intention of changing that.
“He told me to just play the same way I was playing in Tampa,” Paquette said. “Kind of the same role I had all these years and helping them achieve the goal of winning the cup last year. I’m looking forward to doing the same thing here. I don’t want to change anything. Be physical, be good on the PK, bring energy to the team and be a good teammate.”
Before being dealt to Ottawa last offseason, Paquette spent parts of seven seasons in Tampa Bay, including helping the Lightning to their Stanley Cup triumph last season.
Adding another player with Championship pedigree was another element that drew the Canes to Paquette.
“I think anytime you can get guys that know how to win, that have been there and done that, I think that helps,” Brind’Amour said. “He’s the kind of player that I think will fit in well here. He comes to the rink and gives an honest effort. That’s all we ever ask.”
From Paquette’s standpoint, hitting the ice with his new teammates this morning, he seems some similarities to last year’s Lightning.
“Looking at them on the ice today, they’ve got some guys with a lot of skills,” Paquette said. “They’re good players, so I’m happy to be on their team and it reminds me of Tampa a little bit with all the super power we had there. It feels like the same thing here.”
As the Canes look to achieve their ultimate goal of contending for a title, the team feels the addition of Paquette will give them another needed element, and it’s one he’s looking forward to providing.
Paquette is happy to be here, and it’s pretty clear the feeling is mutual.