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Guy Behind the Guy: Pain and Opportunity

Thursday, 12.11.2008 / 3:01 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
Carolina Hurricanes
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Guy Behind the Guy: Pain and Opportunity
It looks like Dennis Seidenberg will be unable to play tonight, meaning only two of the six defensemen who took the ice on opening night back in October for the Hurricanes will be wearing black for the Hurricanes tonight in Philadelphia. Neither of the two extra Carolina defensemen sitting in the press box that night – Anton Babchuk (elbow injury) and Josef Melichar (reassignment)  -- are available for the Hurricanes tonight either. That means four of the six blueliners playing for Carolina tonight started this season as members of the River Rats.
Mike Sundheim
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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 Peter Friesen’s training room, there are two sides to every story. Imagine what a journey the past 12 months have been for Bryan, a kid who seemed to enjoy every single moment even in training camp in Raleigh, commenting to me after multiple exhibition games about just how “awesome” the fans are at the RBC Center. Kyle is on this road trip, but I know I’ll be listening for John Forslund to call out number 29’s name tonight on FS Carolinas. The kid that went from playing without an NHL affiliation at First Arena in Elmira, NY, to skating in the world’s best league at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, PA, in less than a year.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 49 36 9 4 161 110 76
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
4 NYR 51 28 18 5 146 132 61
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 NYI 49 26 17 6 134 121 58
7 DET 51 25 18 8 125 130 58
8 NJD 52 26 20 6 117 118 58
9 PIT 50 25 18 7 129 128 57
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 49 23 18 8 117 128 54
12 MTL 52 24 24 4 137 141 52
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 53 15 19 -13 34
V. Rask 51 12 19 1 31
K. Versteeg 52 10 21 1 31
J. Skinner 53 18 12 -3 30
J. Staal 53 12 18 7 30
E. Staal 53 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 53 8 16 -8 24
A. Nestrasil 46 7 12 -1 19
J. Nordstrom 42 5 9 2 14
R. Hainsey 53 3 11 -12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 5 .905 2.43
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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