A day after the Carolina Hurricanes had a day off, the team was shorthanded at practice on Wednesday.
"We had the day off yesterday with the idea of putting as many guys [on the ice] and we still had 13 skaters," Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said.
On Tuesday, general manager Jim Rutherford said he'd recall a defenseman from Albany by Friday and possibly by Thursday.
One encouraging sign is the increasing amount of time Cam Ward has spent practicing over the last two days — even with yesterday's off day.
The Hurricanes have pretty much ruled out bringing him back for Saturday's home game against the Vancouver Canucks (as was originally hoped), but he'll likely travel with the team on an ensuing four-game road trip next week and may see action in Wednesday's game at the New Jersey Devils.
"He is so day-to-day at this point," Maurice said. "He's going to take an awful lot of shots soon and then we'll see how he comes back the next day and see how sore he is."
Of course, when he does come back, the Hurricanes will have a decision to make regarding their two backups, Michael Leighton, who is in the second year of a two-year, one-way contract, and Manny Legace, whom the Hurricanes signed as a free agent after Ward went down.
Legace, who was with the AHL's Chicago Wolves and is in his 11th NHL season, has gone 2-4-2 in eight games with the Hurricanes this season, allowing an average of 3.23 goals per game and .890 save percentage.
Leighton, in his sixth NHL season, is 1-4-0 this season and has played in six games, allowing an average of 4.29 goals per game with a .848 save percentage.
Maurice said he hasn't thought about the decision yet.
"Not even a little bit," he said. "We'll wait until that time comes. We have a management decision as to what we do with our tenders. We need some goaltending out of the two guys we have here and then we need to get Cam back and be real sharp."