NEWARK — It was quickly noticeable today when defenseman Ian White did not accompany the Canes to the Prudential Center for the morning skate.
Was White injured? Sick? More so, with the NHL trade deadline approaching, could he be a part of a possible trade?
Asked about White's situation, Canes coach Paul Maurice said after the skate that "there's something in the works that's pending."
"If it happens, it will happen in the next 24 hours, I guess. If it doesn't, then he's with our hockey team."
Defenseman Brett Carson was recalled Tuesday from the Charlotte Checkers (AHL) and arrived at the team hotel last night. Maurice said Carson would play with Jay Harrison tonight against the New Jersey Devils.
White has played 39 games for the Canes since being traded Nov. 17 by the Calgary Flames to Carolina with forward Brett Sutter for Anton Babchuk and Tom Kostopoulos. White has no goals and 10 assists for the Canes and had 12:45 in ice time Sunday against the Atlanta Thrashers, his lowest since coming to Carolina.
Where White might land is speculation at this point. Among those with a need for a defenseman are the Vancouver Canucks, who have been decimated by injuries on the back end and lost former Canes defenseman Andrew Alberts this week with a wrist injury.
As for tonight's game, Maurice said Jussi Jokinen open at center on the fourth line with Troy Bodie and Jerome Samson but would be moved during the game.
The Canes will be facing the Devils for the second time in five games and will play them again Saturday in Raleigh. Johan Hedberg will again be in goal for New Jersey and Cam Ward will make his 17th straight start for the Canes.
The Devils are streaking — 12-1-2 in their last 15 games. They also have had the last four days off.
"We like to hit 'em right at their prime," Maurice wryly said. "The good part is this is the only way we have ever seen New Jersey play -- at this level. So we don't come into this game looking at the standings. ... We have an expectation this game may be very similar to the last one."
The Canes had a 2-1 lead late in last week's game at The Rock, only to have the Devils tie it and then win 3-2 in overtime.