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Rodney to Help Power Play?

by Paul Branecky / Carolina Hurricanes
Paul Branecky
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With defenseman Jay Harrison not scheduled to make the Hurricanes’ two-game trip through Florida and Atlanta, the team will use the opportunity to potentially boost its struggling power play.

According to Paul Maurice, part of why the team chose to recall Bryan Rodney instead of Brett Carson from Charlotte of the American Hockey League, a move that will be made official Tuesday evening, was that it could help a man-advantage unit that has not converted since Nov. 26 and has a chance to tie its longest drought since 2004 (seven games) on Wednesday.

As the go-to quarterback of a Charlotte power play that ranks third in the AHL with a 21.8 percent success rate, Rodney should at least bring some confidence that the Hurricanes have been lacking. The fact that all 5 of his goals this season have come in his last nine games reinforces that fact.

Over his past 30 games of NHL experience stretched out over the last two seasons, Rodney has seen significant time on the power play. In 22 games last season, he averaged 2:29 of ice time on the man advantage.  He finished the campaign on a nice run, notching assists in each of the Hurricanes' final three contests.

It remains to be seen how often he'll be used as he’s not replacing a power-play guy in Harrison, but it’s worth noting that he ranks tied for ninth in AHL scoring among defensemen (5g, 13a) and that seven of his 13 career NHL points have come on the power play.

Maurice added that part of the equation was the side of the ice that Rodney covers, with General Manager Jim Rutherford and Assistant General Manager Jason Karmanos both indicating in recent weeks that Rodney could have seen games earlier were a left-sided defenseman needed. As a right-sided player, Brett Carson got the nod for previous recalls.

According to Maurice, Rodney should slide in alongside Ian White at even strength, with Joni Pitkanen pairing with Jamie McBain. The top pairing of Tim Gleason and Joe Corvo will remain intact.

Harrison’s absence on the upcoming trip will be just the fifth and sixth man games lost to injury for the Hurricanes this season, with Pitkanen and Sergei Samsonov missing two each in October and November, respectively.

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