After leaving the Carolina Hurricanes on strange terms and sitting out the 2013-14 season entirely, Chad LaRose approached his former team about a possible return to hockey, the Raleigh News & Observer reports.
Hurricanes GM Ron Francis said he hopes to meet with the 32-year-old soon to discuss options, including a possible tryout.
“I’d like to talk to him,” Francis said. “He took a year off and obviously he’d need to earn his way back. There are some options. We could get him to camp on a tryout. He could start the season in Charlotte (AHL), show that he could still do it.”
At LaRose’s age, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to imagine that he could stick as a bottom-six forward. While his last season with Carolina was pretty hedious (just four points in 35 games played), he’s a two-time 19-goal scorer who enjoyed five-straight seasons with at least 11 goals and hovered around the 30-point mark for four straight years. Those aren’t eye-popping numbers, but he’s at least shown enough ability to potentially land back on an NHL roster.
The Hurricanes have also been open-minded about training camp auditions in the past.
Jeff O’Neill gave it a shot with the Hurricanes after sitting out a season at the same age of 32. While that didn’t work out, Radek Dvorak managed to make the team after impressing enough during a PTO prior to the 2013-14 season.
Other players have returned after absences as well; while Tim Thomas had an injury-plagued, up-and-down season, he did show flashes of his former brilliance last year despite a well-publicized hiatus.
So, really, the odds aren’t on LaRose’s side, but he’s probably used to that as a small-ish, undrafted free agent.