Dwyer Out, Boychuk Up and Other Injury Notes
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With Dwyer out, a forward slot has become available. The team recalled Zach Boychuk from Charlotte, the 22-year-old Alberta native’s first recall under head coach Kirk Muller. This marks the second recall of the season for Boychuk, who played 13 games with the Hurricanes from Oct. 25 to Nov. 20. In that stretch, he recorded two assists and averaged 8:05 in ice time.
Boychuk will likely see enhanced ice time in the top nine during this recall, which is on emergency basis for Dwyer. Ranking third amongst Checkers skaters in scoring, he could also see some power play time if needed.
In other injury news, Joni Pitkanen began skating alone on Monday, Rutherford said. If everything stays on schedule with his rehab from knee surgery, he is two or three weeks away from returning to the lineup.
Tuomo Ruutu will also be out for another two or three weeks, Rutherford said. Ruutu has missed the team’s last five games with an upper-body injury, one Rutherford called “real sore.”
Chad LaRose, who has moved in and out of team practices for the last week, is probably a week away from returning to the lineup, according to Rutherford. LaRose has missed the team’s last five games and has only played in six of the team’s last 19 games due to varying injuries.
Cam Ward returned to practice on Monday, handling the brunt of the goaltending duties. If he feels up to speed tomorrow, Muller said he will likely start in net against Nashville.
“Some of those guys have injuries we have to be real careful with, so we’re not going to hurry them back,” Rutherford said.