Guy Behind the Guy: Pain and Opportunity
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One man’s setback is another’s opportunity. When Frank Kaberle and Dennis Seidenberg went down, Casey Borer and Tim Conboy got the chance to return to the NHL. When Niclas Wallin went down, big Brett Carson came up to make his NHL debut. And with Babchuk out, here comes young Bryan Rodney to reach his NHL dream.
Rodney may just be the best story of them all. This time last year, the London, Ont., native was playing for the Elmira Jackals of the ECHL. Fresh off of earning ECHL Player of the Week honors, Rodney was one of six Jackals skaters plucked from Elmira to play for Albany on Dec. 16 of last year, when a flu bug decimated the River Rats roster. The ECHL All-Star shined in the AHL for the rest of the season, scoring 15 points (4g, 11a) from the Albany blueline and leading all River Rats in playoff scoring.
Rodney’s great run in the AHL at the end of last season helped him earn an NHL, two-way contract with the Hurricanes this summer. In September, he was one of the pleasant surprises of Hurricanes training camp, and one of the final cuts Carolina made when finalizing its NHL roster. After a brief injury setback of his own, Rodney has gotten back on track with the River Rats, notching eight points in 17 AHL games this season.
And today he gets the call – a chance to make his NHL debut against the red hot Philadelphia Flyers.So as disheartening as it sometimes feels to watch player after player head into