Hurricanes try to toughen up

Carolina claims bruiser Troy Bodie off waivers from Anaheim

Staff writerNovember 17, 2010 

  • When: 7 p.m. today

    Where: RBC Center, Raleigh

    TV: FSCR Radio: WCMC-99.9

— The Carolina Hurricanes will arrive at the RBC Center today for the morning skate to find a newcomer in their midst.

The Canes on Tuesday claimed right wing Troy Bodie off waivers from the Anaheim Ducks. A bruiser at 6 feet 4 and 213 pounds, Bodie won't play tonight against the Ottawa Senators but could be in the lineup and on the fourth line by Friday's road game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"He's a physical guy that's got some size and likes to bang and likes the dark areas of the ice," Canes coach Paul Maurice said. "We can use a little bit more of everything right now, but we're not a big team. Adding some size to our lineup I think will help."

General manager Jim Rutherford said Bodie, who has a two-way contract, is "willing." In hockey parlance, that means he's a rough-and-tumble type who won't hesitate to drop the gloves if necessary.

The Hurricanes don't have a lot of those kinds of guys. Forward Tom Kostopoulos and defensemen Tim Gleason and Jay Harrison also are willing, as they say, but are needed on the ice, especially in penalty-killing situations.

Bodie, 25, has played in nine games this season for the Ducks, notching one assist. In 44 games last season for Anaheim, he had five goals, two assists and 80 penalty minutes.

Rutherford said Bodie came highly recommended by Marshall Johnston, Carolina's director of pro scouting.

"We did our homework on him the last 24 hours, and we felt like there is very little risk in this acquisition," Rutherford said. "The upside is that he's young, hard-working, a good team player. He obviously adds size, and he can play a physical, gritty game."

Bodie, drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in 2003, does add to the Canes' surplus of forwards. Patrick O'Sullivan, a healthy scratch the past seven games, will start on the fourth line tonight as Jiri Tlusty will be held out.

"We're going to have to make some moves here in the next little while," Rutherford said. "We have not planned to carry that many forwards, or as many players as we have for that matter. So we'll have to see what happens here in the near future.

"So many things, I guess, could happen to clean up that situation."

That might involve a trade. Rutherford said adding a defenseman might be a possibility.

"We're looking at our defense," he said. "It's more about trying to fit guys into the right spot in their combinations, and if something came along that made sense for us there we'd consider a change."

But Rutherford said any deal that would add to the team payroll is "something we'd prefer not to do."

A more pressing immediate issue, however, is ending a two-game losing streak in which the Canes have been outscored 15-3 - an 8-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, followed by a 7-2 loss to Montreal.

A year ago, the Hurricanes were 2-12-3 as they played their 18th game of the season. An overtime loss to the New York Islanders then tied the franchise record with a 14-game winless streak.

Things aren't nearly as dire this season as they play their 18th game. Carolina is 8-9-0 and just a few points out of playoff position in the Eastern Conference heading into their 18th game.

But the Canes are mindful of how losing can beget more losing. They've had the past two days to practice - they went another hour Tuesday at the RBC Center - and as forward Patrick Dwyer put it, worked on getting the "kinks" out of their game.

"Hopefully we've put ourselves in position after these two days that we can go out and play hard, play the way we want to play and get results from that," Dwyer said. "With all the parity in this league, if you lose two, three, four in row you're going to have problems getting back in the race.

"It's something we definitely want to nip in the bud before it gets to four, five or six games, or the worst-case scenario like last year. We need to nip it in the bud, get back to .500 and get going from there."

chip.alexander@newsobserver.com or 919-829-8945

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