Flyers vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

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 x - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
12 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 77 29 42 6 201 245 64
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 71 22 28 -12 50
J. Faulk 76 15 32 -19 47
E. Lindholm 75 16 21 -20 37
J. Skinner 71 18 13 -22 31
V. Rask 74 11 20 -13 31
N. Gerbe 72 9 17 -13 26
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. McClement 76 7 13 -5 20
J. Staal 40 4 16 -6 20
J. Liles 51 2 17 -8 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 20 22 5 .909 2.43
A. Khudobin 8 15 6 .904 2.60