The Canes today recalled forward Jerome Samson from the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL. Samson is an emergency recall, replacing forward Chad LaRose, who was injured Monday in Canes practice.
Canes coach Kirk Muller said today that LaRose, who has an upper-body injury when he banged into the net, did not suffer a concussion and that he hoped to get the winger back soon.
It's the first NHL recall of the season for Samson, 24, who currently leads Charlotte and ranks tied for 11th in the AHL in goals (15). He is second among Checkers skaters in scoring this season with 27 points (15g, 12a) in 37 games and is tops among all AHL players with 160 shots on goal in 2011-12.
On Samson's recall, Muller said, "He deserves to be brought up from his play. You can see the power of the merit system."
In past seasons, Samson has been called up only to be assigned fourth-line duties, for the most part. Tonight, he will be on a line with Jussi Jokinen and Alexei Ponikarovsky.
"Once you get the chance, you try to show them that they're wrong just letting you sit down there for so long," Samson said. "I'm looking forward to the game tonight and to the third line, and maybe have more ice time than I did last year and I'll be able to show them more."
Forwards Zac Dalpe, Zach Boychuk, Riley Nash and Drayson Bowman have gotten the call from the Canes this season ahead of Samson. And Samson noted everyone in Charlotte paid close attention to the amount of minutes being played by the callups sinced Muller was hired as coach -- Dalpe had 19 minutes in his last game before being reassigned to the Checkers.
"We keep a close look at what's going on up here," he said. "Dalpe and Bowman played power play, first line, top minutes. Obviously I would have loved for it to be me, but I was loving it because they were getting a shot at showing what they can do. Tonight is going to be my chance to prove what I can do."
In today's pregame skate, Muller had Staal centering Jiri Tlusty and Tuomo Ruutu; Brandon Sutter at center with Pat Dwyer and Andreas Nodl, and Tim Brent at center with Brett Sutter and Anthony Stewart on the wings. The defensive pairs remained the same from the Nashville game.
Cam Ward will start in goal against Sergei Bobrovsky of the Flyers. Bobrovsky, who has not started sinced the Jan. 2 Winter Classic game against the Rangers, is 8-3-1 with a 2.56 GAA and .914 save percentage.