Zach Boychuk's Hurricanes gear was still in place in his locker at the RecZone today, a day after the team announced they were sending the 19-year-old forward back to Lethbridge (WHL) for another year of junior hockey.
With Tuomo Ruutu skating briefly and Boychuk gone, the Canes were down to 11 healthy forwards for most of today's practice, leaving defenseman Joe Corvo to fill in at forward at times.
What to do? Keep in mind that the league's general managers meet Thursday in Chicago. Who knows what could come out of that. A forward for a defenseman?
Of the decision to send Boychuk back to junior, Canes coach Peter Laviolette said: "You can tell he has a lot of skill, a lot of potential, the way he skates, the way he moves the puck around in practice. But ultimately, for him to be here, it really needs to be in the top six, a top nine position. Having him on the fourth line, in and out of the lineup, as we get healthy here just doesn't make a lot of sense.
"He needs to go back, continue to work on his game at a solid, junior level and come back here (next year) with a ton of confidence and make an impact in those top spots at forward. He's a skilled player and that's where he needs to play."