The Carolina Hurricanes announced Saturday the club has added forward Chad LaRose to its’ training camp roster on a professional tryout.
LaRose, who sat out the entire 2013-14 season, signed a contract with the Hurricanes’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers, this summer.
The 32-year-old scored 85 goals and 80 points to go along with 286 penalty minutes in 508 career NHL games all with Carolina before missing last season.
Additionally, the Canes’ announced defensemen Trevor Carrick, Dennis Robertson and Keegan Lowe along with goaltender Daniel Altshuller were assigned to the Checkers.
Carolina has placed forwards Ben Holmstrom, Justin Shugg, Greg Nemisz and Jared Staal on waivers. All four will be assigned to Charlotte if they clear.
Forward Kyle Hagel, who has an AHL contract with Charlotte, has been released from Hurricanes’ camp.
The Carolina Hurricanes moved a step closer to icing a three-Staal lineup next season, agreeing to terms with Jared Staal on a one-year, two-way deal worth $550,000 at the NHL level.
Staal, 22, made his NHL debut last season — along with brothers Eric and Jordan — skating in a pair of games with Carolina after his best season at the AHL level.
With Charlotte, Staal scored seven points in 52 games, setting career highs in goals and appearances.
The former 49th overall selection (Phoenix, 2008 NHL Entry Draft) should have a decent shot of cracking the Carolina roster next season.
The ‘Canes currently have 10 NHL forwards under contract, with and 11th — ’13 first-rounder Elias Lindholm — expected to make the team.
Staal doesn’t have the offensive prowess of his brothers — Eric is a former 100-point man; Jordan’s a five-time 20-goal scorer — but does have the trademark Staal size.
Jared checks in at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, similar to Eric (6-4, 205) and Jordan (6-4, 220).
The expectations Carolina has for Elias Lindholm are high.
On Monday, ‘Canes GM Jim Rutherford said he’d be “shocked” if Lindholm — Carolina’s first-round pick at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, fifth overall — didn’t make the club to start the 2013-14 season.
“The biggest thing I see is that he plays the game at a high tempo,” Rutherford told the Raleigh News & Observer. “To come into the National Hockey League and play at the pace these guys play at, that’s very important and makes it that much easier.
“The opportunity is there to start with the Hurricanes. I would be shocked if he doesn’t based on all the reports and what I’ve seen.”
Lindholm, 18, prefers to play center but can play either wing. That versatility will serve him well in trying to make the team, as Carolina currently only has 10 forwards (Lindholm is No. 11) under contract for next season.
RFA Jared Staal is still unsigned, and it looks like veterans Chad LaRose and Tim Brent won’t be back.
Surely, some of the expectations for Lindholm come from being the highest forward Carolina has drafted since Jeff Skinner in 2010.
The ‘Canes went defense in the first round of 2011 (with Ryan Murphy) and gave up their first-round pick in 2012 in the Jordan Staal trade with Pittsburgh.
As for other prospects up front?
Outside of Lindholm, the club does have fellow Swedish forward Victor Rask in the mix — he appeared in 10 games with AHL Charlotte last season — and forward Brock McGinn, the younger brother of Colorado’s Jamie McGinn and Philadelphia’s Tye McGinn.
It’s been written plenty of times before, but the Staal family really is the modern answer to the Sutter family in the NHL.
Let’s hope that Jordan, Marc, Eric (and Jared?) never decide to work alongside each other as a team’s general manager like Darryl and Brent Sutter, though. Otherwise they might build up enough hostility between the two of each other that they stop talking altogether like what happened with the Sutters in Calgary. Let’s just say things might still be awkward by the next big Canadian holiday at the Sutter house.
(According to this article – which features an incredibly rare sighting of the two brothers smiling – the only Flames players who heard back from Darryl are Jarome Iginla and Curtis Glencross.)
Anyway, it seemed like Eric Staal was looking after his brother Marc, who doesn’t get as many chances to score goals because he’s a defenseman with the New York Rangers. Eric coughed up the puck to Marc who fired a great shot, but Cam Ward decided to throw a wrench in their plans by making a dynamic glove save. The Rangers ended up winning the contest in overtime, but Ward was nearly Henrik Lundqvist’s equal on Wednesday.
Check out Ward’s fantastic swipe in the video below.