Tag: Zach Boychuk

Carolina Hurricanes v Toronto Maple Leafs

‘Canes release LaRose from PTO, waive Boychuk


The Carolina Hurricanes sent two familiar faces packing from training camp on Monday, releasing Chad LaRose from his professional tryout while waiving Zach Boychuk for the purpose of assigning him to AHL Charlotte.

LaRose, 32, rejoined the ‘Canes this year after taking a hockey sabbatical in 2013-14. The speedy veteran — who’d spent his entire eight-year career with Carolina — returned to the ice this fall after saying he “fell out of love” with hockey, and inked a contract with the Checkers, where he’ll likely end up (assuming he doesn’t take another hiatus.)

As for Boychuk, he’s once again on waivers — a familiar spot for him. The 25-year-old, Carolina’s first-round pick (14th overall) at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, went from Pittsburgh to Nashville and then back to the ‘Canes during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign, all via the waiver wire.

Boychuk appeared in 11 games for Carolina last season, registering just four points, but was a dynamic scorer at the AHL level, scoring 36 goals and 74 points in 69 games for the Checkers.

Risk Factors: Carolina Hurricanes edition

Ron Francis
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From the same bunch of pessimists who brought you“Why your team won’t win the Stanley Cup,”PHT presents a new series called “Risk Factors,”i.e. three reasons to be worried about each NHL team in 2014-15.

Carolina Hurricanes

Who will fill in for Jordan Staal?

We say fill-in because lets face it, no one currently on the Carolina Hurricanes roster is going to altogether replace Staal, who is expected to miss 3-4 months after undergoing surgery on his broken leg.

With the No. 2 center position vacant, the Canes appear to be heading into the 2014-15 season with Riley Nash pencilled in for Staal. Nash, originally a first-round pick of the Edmonton Oilers (21st overall in 2007) has 110 career games under his belt predominantly in bottom six role.

“It’s a lot of minutes that just went down with that injury,” Nash recently told the Charlotte Observer. “There’s quite a few guys in here who are looking for that opportunity to fill a void and take on new roles they didn’t necessarily have last year.”

Nash set career highs with 10 goals, 24 points and 73 games played last season while averaging 12:40 in TOI. If he is the solution as Staal’s fill in, he’ll get a significant bump up in ice time. Being the second line center could also see his career highs take another spike in 2014-15 as well as he is likely to play between Jeff Skinner and Elias Lindholm.

Behind Nash is 21-year-old rookie Victor Rask, who has 86 games of professional experience under his belt all with the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League. Rask along with free agent signing Jay McClement, who spent last season with the Toronto Maple Leafs, will also see an increased role without Staal.
“It’s going to trickle down through the lineup,” new head coach Bill Peters said.

The schedule makers aren’t doing the Canes any favors either. Carolina opens the season at home Oct. 10 against the Islanders, but six of their first eight games are on the road.

Rookie GM Ron Francis tasked with guiding the franchise in the right direction 

Ron Francis may be a hall of famer as a player, but as a general manager, he’s a fresh faced rookie and he’s been handed the daunting task of turning the franchise, which has qualified for the playoffs just once in the past eight seasons in the right direction.

Francis’ welcome moment may have come this summer when he tried, unsuccessfully, to deal goaltender Cam Ward and his  summer. Lets call the Ward situation Problem 2 after Staal complicated things at center for Francis.

Francis addressed the notion that the team needed a fresh start after he fired Kirk Muller in the offseason, but a quick look at the team’s projected lines for the upcoming season and the only thing that looks remotely fresh is the team’s fourth line. Zach Boychuk and Chris Terry only played 10 games each with the big club last season while McClemment was with the Leafs.

“I don’t foresee a major makeover,” Francis said in May. “We’ve got some pretty good pieces in place. I know it’s been frustrating that we haven’t made the playoffs in five years. … We believe we have a pretty good group here that can compete and win.”

A team which hasn’t qualified for the playoffs for five years needs to make some changes. Francis will be in charge of doing that.

According to CapGeek, the Hurricanes have over $5 million to work with and that’s before Staal goes on long-term injured reserve, which he will likely do this week.

There’s also the matter of owner Peter Karmanos Jr. listening to offers in an effort to sell the franchise.

It’s alot easier to sell a team when the product on the ice is heading in the right direction.

Peters behind the bench

The only thing fresh about the Hurricanes this season is behind the bench as rookie coach Bill Peters looks to swing the hammer and get the franchise back into the playoffs. Petters vows to use ice time as a motivator to get his team moving in the right direction.

The 49-year-old may be a rookie in the NHL, but he’s had success elsewhere.

He led the Western Hockey League’s Spokane Chiefs to the Memorial Cup in 2008. Peters then coached the Rockford IceHogs from 2008-10 and was responsible for as many as eight players joining the Chicago Blackhawks and winning the Stanley Cup in 2010 or 2013.

Peters has spent the past three seasons on Mike Babcock’s staff in Detroit where he was responsible for the team’s defense and penalty killing.

So his answer, when asked about his coaching style, should come as no surprise.

“I want to have the puck. … If you’re not good defensively in the National Hockey League and you don’t know how to play in your own end, you know what end you play in,” he said. “You never get out of your own end. And it’s that ‘here they come again’ feeling. … In order to be a good hockey team, you’ve got to be good in the defensive zone, you’ve got to be efficient, you’ve got to be able to get through the neutral zone, and go have fun in the offensive zone.”

Peters is saying all the right things, but like Francis, Peters is in the first year as the lead man in his position. It’s a lot different when you’re an assistant compared to the head honcho.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Peters can lead the Hurricanes, who finished 22nd in goals for (2.50) and 19th in goals against (2.76) per game last season in the right direction this season.

Carolina finished 13th in the Eastern Conference last season 10 points back of the Detroit Red Wings for the second and final wild card spot.

Hurricanes activate Nash, demote Sutter and Boychuk

Riley Nash

The Carolina Hurricanes will get one of their more steady players back in the lineup soon.

The team activated forward Riley Nash off injured reserve and demoted Zach Boychuk and Brett Sutter to make room for him on the roster. Nash missed the past five games with a lower-body injury.

This season, Nash has played in 36 games and has 10 points. For a guy playing fourth line minutes, that’s steady production. Of course, the Hurricanes are waiting on a few of their big name players to get healthy.

Captain Eric Staal (lower-body), forward Jiri Tlusty (appendectomy), and goalie Cam Ward (lower-body) are all still out of action. Getting Staal and Tlusty back soon will help push them deeper into the playoff hunt in the Metropolitan Division.

‘Canes put Tlusty (appendectomy) on IR, out 2-3 weeks

Jiri Tlusty

The Carolina Hurricanes have placed forward Jiri Tlusty on injured reserve following an appendectomy and have recalled Zach Boychuk from AHL Charlotte to take his place.

Tlusty, 25, is expected to miss 2-3 weeks with the ailment.

The Czech winger, who scored a career-high 38 points in 48 games last year, has failed to replicate that success this season. Tlusty has just six goals and 10 points in 37 games, a far cry from the 23 goals he scored for Carolina during the lockout-shortened campaign, leading the team in goals while finishing tied for fifth overall in the NHL.

Boychuk has spent a good while with the ‘Canes organization, though he did bounce around last season (landing in Pittsburgh and Nashville). The former 14th overall pick has only appeared in one game this year for Carolina, notching an assist.


PHT Morning Skate: Avs coach Roy wants to give fans offensive team

Ryan O'Reilly, Matt Duchene

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy knows his players need to be sound defensively, but in the interest of putting on “a great show” for the fans, he wants the Avalanche to be an offensive-minded team. (Denver Post)

Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry have agreed to help the Anaheim Ducks Learn to Play program by buying equipment and participating in instructional sessions for kids that want to take up the sport of hockey. (Los Angeles Times)

Edmonton Oilers forward Ben Eager ended up going unclaimed on waivers last season and was consequently sent to the minors. Now the veteran of 400 NHL games has a fresh opportunity with new coach Dallas Eakins and he’s trying to take advantage of it. (Edmonton Sun)

Australian-raised forward Nathan Walker is thoroughly enjoying the experience of participating in the Washington Capitals’ training camp. The 19-year-old is fighting to eventually become the first Australian player in the NHL. (NHL.com)

Zac Dalpe, Drayson Bowman, and Zach Boychuk are all 23 to 24 years old, but none of them have been able to firmly establish themselves with the Carolina Hurricanes, making this camp critical for them. It won’t be long before they’re overshadowed by the next group of promising youngsters if they don’t step up and secure their NHL jobs. (News & Observer)

Going into his first full season in the NHL, 27-year-old Carl Soderberg is likely to serve as Boston’s third-line left winger and should end up with some power-play ice time. Meanwhile, Reilly Smith might have the edge in the battle to serve as the right winger on the same line. (Boston Globe)