Zac Dalpe isn't going to try and deny it. Playing right wing on a line with Eric Staal and Alexei Ponikarovsky, he said, is pretty cool.
Canes coach Paul Maurice took a look at that combination Sunday during the 4-0 exhibition win over the Winnipeg Jets in Charlotte. Liking what he saw, he had those three in red jerseys and on a line again today in practice.
"I was a little bit nervous, to be honest with you, when I first got put on that line in the game," Dalpe said. "But one shift after, I was fine.
"I feel good. I thought we had a good practice. I thought we played well (Sunday) in the third period. So we'll see if it sticks."
Dalpe came into training camp hoping to win a roster spot. Although general manager Jim Rutherford all but had him penciled on the roster, there was the matter of Dalpe getting the job done on the ice.
Dalpe first played on Brandon Sutter's line opposite Chad LaRose. Playing with Sutter and Jiri Tlusty on Sunday with LaRose injured, Dalpe scored the game's first goal, taking a Tlusty pass at full speed and converting a breakaway.
But Dalpe, who has good size at 6-1 and 195 pounds, is on the top line for now, giving that line some speed on the wing. Maurice made the change midway through the second period, replacing Jussi Jokinen with Dalpe, against the Jets and stuck with it in the third.
"They like to play north-south and that's my game too," Dalpe said of Staal and Ponikarovsky. "Hopefully we'll complement each other well and hopefully I'll get a couple more games with them and get more comfortable.
"But you don't want to get too comfortable and start trying to make plays that are out of your element just because you're playing with them. Obviously I got put there for a reason so I'm just going to keep doing that I've been doing, finding the big guy in the slot and hopefully it all works out."
Dalpe laughed when asked if he was ever on a line with Staal last year in training cmap or his 15 games with the Canes.
"No, never. I don't think I was ever on a drill with him," he said.
But a lot has changed in a year for No. 22 -- in red.