The Carolina Hurricanes could be getting some lineup reinforcements for a big two-game trip through Pittsburgh and Washington.
Defenseman Tim Gleason (concussion) and forward Tuomo Ruutu (lower body) are traveling with the team and could make their season debuts, depending how the next 24 hours go.
“We’ll see how (Ruutu) feels and where he’s at tomorrow,” ‘Canes head coach Kirk Muller told the Raleigh News & Observer.
Ruutu returned to practice on Monday in a non-contact capacity and while Gleason did travel with the club, Muller said the 30-year-old rearguard still remains sidelined.
Despite missing two of their more veteran presences, the ‘Canes have gotten off to a good start this year. They’ve captured three of a possible four points after an OT loss to Detroit and a 2-1 win over Philly on Sunday, the latter cementing Peter Laviolette’s fate as the Flyers turfed him early Monday morning.
Should Ruutu return to the lineup, it’s possible that Drayson Bowman will be dropped. The 24-year-old plays the wing but has only averaged 8:27 TOI through two games thus far. Of course, it’s also possible the club could drop one of its younger forwards — Elias LIndholm or Brett Sutter — to make room for Ruutu.