Canes forward Scott Walker, sidelined the last month with a hand injury, said today there was a chance he could return this week.
"I'm pretty close," Walker said today after a workout at the RBC Center. "I just want to make sure there are no setbacks, no pain."
UPDATE: Due to blog technical problems, this could not be posted for a few hours -- the Canes have placed forward Dan LaCouture on waivers with the intent of reassigning him to the Albany River Rats, general manager Jim Rutherford said Monday.
Asked if he might play this week -- the Canes play at Toronto and Washington, then home against Ottawa -- Walker said, "Hopefully sometime this week. It's all in how it feels. It feels pretty good today but how will it feel tomorrow?"
Walker had surgery a month ago after hurting his left hand during a fight in a preseason game against Philadelphia. A pin was inserted, but had to be removed because of an infection.
Ironically, Walker said the infection may have helped speed up his recovery, although he will need to wear a protective device on the hand.
"It's a little bit better because I got the pin out early -- I've got a little more movement," he said. "In some ways the infection set me back. But also in some ways it pushed me forward.
"They're confident everything is moving good. Hopefully we can go forward."
The Canes were without center Matt Cullen (groin injury) in Sunday's game against Toronto and then lost forward Patrick Eaves to an illness during the game.
"Scott's close," Canes coach Peter Laviolette said. "Matt's day to day,
Scott's day to day right now, so we'll make some decisions here."
Laviolette said Eaves was "still a little bit under the weather" but hoped Eaves could make the two-game road trip.
LaCouture scored the game-winner in the season opener. But the emergence of Dwight Helminen and Patrick Dwyer in the last week led to the decision to move LaCouture, Rutherford said.