ST. LOUIS - A day after being claimed on waivers by the Carolina Hurricanes, Ty Rattie will face his former team in St. Louis.
It's a strange and unique situation, but one he is embracing.
"I'm sure it will be even weirder tonight," he said after the Hurricanes' morning skate. "I'm happy to be playing. It's tough to play your old friends right off the bat, but I've got a job to do and they've got a job to do. We're both trying to win a game here."
"It's different, eh? A unique set of circumstances. It happens," head coach Bill Peters said. "He'll know what they're doing. Maybe I should talk to him."
Rattie, already familiar with Victor Rask from the Western Hockey League and Ryan Murphy from World Juniors, met his new teammates when the Hurricanes arrived at their hotel in St. Louis on Wednesday evening.
"It's a good, young team, and a team that could really make a playoff push. Not too many points out. I'm happy to be here and happy to be a part of this team," he said. "They've all made me feel welcome. So far, so good."
Rattie, a second-round pick of the Blues from 2011, has skated in 30 NHL games and tallied eight points (4g, 4a). The 23-year-old winger has played in just four games this season and hadn't cracked the Blues lineup since Nov. 28.
"It's not easy. I can't sit here and say that it was fun coming to the rink every day and not playing for 16 straight games, I think it was. But I was in the NHL, I had a bunch of good buddies around me and everyone was supportive of me. No complaints," he said. "I'm grateful for my time in St. Louis and grateful for my opportunity now.
"Every day I hoped I was in the lineup. I worked hard and did what I could. I guess you keep working hard and good things happen to good people, so I'm happy to be here now."
Tonight, Rattie, who will wear No. 8 with the Canes, will get a look with Rask and Skinner.
"His pedigree is an offensive player and a goal-scorer," Peters said. "We'll get him out there and see what he's all about."
"Confidence is 80 percent of this game, I think. You have to tell yourself you can be here and play in the NHL," Rattie said. "I'm confident I can be here, and now it's just a matter of me proving that I can be here and be an everyday player."
With Rask and Skinner, the Hurricanes are hoping that Rattie can help contribute offensively to a team that has struggled to consistently generate scoring as of late.
"A lot of our reports on him were favorable. A lot of our pro and amateur scouts liked him going back over the years," Peters said. "We're struggling to score right now. … He's a guy who knows how to score, so we'll see."
For Rattie, it's a chance to reestablish himself as an NHL player, and his first chance to do so will be against his former team, setting the table for what should be an intriguing night of hockey in St. Louis.
"I have a lot of great friends with the Blues organization, and they did a lot for me. At the same time, I want to play, and I want to stay in the NHL," Rattie said. "I was happy to get the call from Carolina, I'm happy to be here and I'm looking forward to it."