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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 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
N. Hanifin 79 4 18 -14 22
J. Slavin 63 2 18 1 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81