Canes tinker with roster, set for tonight's clash with Capitals (and doghouse-dwelling Ovechkin) | Sports

Canes tinker with roster, set for tonight's clash with Capitals (and doghouse-dwelling Ovechkin)

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RBC CENTER/ RALEIGH—Patrick O'Sullivan will have that Thanksgiving turkey to go.

Continuing his roster tweaking at the quarter-turn of the season, Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford waived O'Sullivan, the first North Carolina native to play in the NHL, on Tuesday. The Minnesota Wild claimed the winger, who scored only one goal in 10 games with the Hurricanes this year.

O'Sullivan watched as many games from the press box, as the emergence of rookie Jeff Skinner and consistent play from Jussi Jokinen and Sergei Samsonov afforded him little opportunity to crack the top three lines on the team. He should have a better shot to stick on the roster of the goal-starved Wild.

Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin is in coach Bruce Boudreau's doghouse coming into a Thanksgiving-eve contest with the Canes.
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  • Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin is in coach Bruce Boudreau's doghouse coming into a Thanksgiving-eve contest with the Canes.
Rutherford also acquired center Ryan Carter Tuesday from the Anaheim Ducks for a pair of prospects. Carter, who brings some of the penalty-killing expertise that went to Calgary with Tom Kostopoulos last week, also fares well in the faceoff circle, which has been vicious to the Canes thus far this year. A part of the 2007 Ducks unit that captured the Stanley Cup, Carter should be in the Wednesday night lineup to face an angry Washington Capitals team at the RBC Center.

The division-leading Caps have dropped three straight, and are coming off a 5-0 embarrassment at the hands of the New Jersey Devils. After that game, during coach Bruce Boudreau's press conference, star forwards Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin were noisily laughing with countryman Ilya Kovalchuk of the Devils. The snaggletoothed face of the franchise is goalless in four games, and spent time on the third line in New Jersey. What's Russian for "doghouse?"

There was no laughter on Tuesday morning at RBC as Boudreau put his team through a bag skate, a ritualistic practice in which a coach attempts to wake up his team by making them sprint up and down the ice until they drop like Thanksgiving relatives felled by a triple helping of tryptophan. Expect Washington to be frisky and physical.

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