The Carolina Hurricanes had a full complement of players and coaches on the ice Thursday for the morning skate at PNC Arena.
And an unofficial assistant coach: Tim Gleason.
The former Canes defenseman was at the skate, in a coach’s garb, working with the players. Gleason, whose professional tryout with the Canes ended last week, will fill a role still to be determined, Canes coach Bill Peters said.
Peters said would “help us out in some different areas and work with our young D-men a little bit.”
Gleason, 32, spent parts of eight seasons with the Canes. Traded by Carolina to the Washington Capitals last season, he was an unrestricted free agent after the season but went unsigned.
Gleason agreed to a professional tryout Nov. 18 with the Canes and practiced for a week before general manager Ron Francis said Gleason had voluntarily ended the tryout bid.
“He came in, he gave it a try,” Peters said. “It gave him the opportunity to find closure with that part of it and he moves on to the next phase, next chapter of his life.”
Gleason said Thursday he was not ready to officially retire as a player but welcomed the opportunity to stay involved with the Hurricanes.
-- The Canes host the New Jersey Devils on Thursday in a game matching the two backup goalies — Eddie Lack of he Canes and Keith Kincaid of the Devils. Lack will be making his eighth appearance of the season while Corey Schneider has handled nearly all of the Devils’ work in net — 20 appearances to Kincaid’s four.
“An important start, an important stretch (and) an opportunity for him to gain some traction and show us what he’s all about,” Peters said of Lack, who is 1-4-1 with a 3.29 GAA and .874 save percentage. “
Kincaid, in his rare outings, is 1-3-0 with a 3.04 goals-against average and .881 save percentage, notching his only win Nov. 8 against Vancouver in a 4-3 overtime victory.
-- The Canes’ lines Thursday had Victor Rask at center with Eric Staal and Elias Lindholm; Jordan Staal with Joakim Nordstrom and Kris Versteeg; Riley Nash centering Jeff Skinner and Chris Terry and Jay McClement at center with Brad Malone and Andrej Nestrasil.
The defensive pairs were Ron Hainsey-Justin Faulk, John-Micheal Liles-Brett Pesce and Noah Hanifin and Ryan Murphy. Michal Jordan again will be the healthy extra.
-- The Davils are 12-10-2 under first-year coach John Hynes and have a number of the players’ fathers along for the trip.
“They play hard,” Peters said. “Both their specialty team units are in the top 10 (NHL). We’ll have to be disciplined.”