The Carolina Hurricanes reached their hotel in St. Louis on Wednesday about 5 p.m. A half-hour later, the “new guy” checked in.
Ty Rattie, claimed off NHL waivers Wednesday by the Canes, had some new teammates to meet. The forward also had some goodbyes to say to his old teammates with the St. Louis Blues.
Talk about an awkward situation. Rattie dressed in the visitors’ locker room Thursday at the Blues’ Scottrade Center, watched part of the Blues’ morning skate, then took the ice with the Canes for their morning skate. He will be in the Canes’ lineup — on a line with Victor Rask and Jeff Skinner —- playing the Blues on Thursday night.
“Coming to the rink was a little weird and I’m sure it will be weirder (Thursday night),” Rattie said. “It’ll be tough to play your old friends right off the bat, but I’ve got a job to do and they’ve got a job to do. We’ve got a game to win here. I’m just happy to be in the NHL and happy to be playing.”
The Blues placed Rattie, 23, on waivers Tuesday with the purpose of assigning him to Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League. But the Canes, looking to add some offense, claimed a player who was drafted by the Blues in the second round (32nd overall) in 2011.
Rattie had not played for the Blues since Nov. 28 and been a healthy scratch the past 15 games for the Blues.
“The Blues are a good depth team and it’s hard to break that lineup,” he said. “They were really healthy the whole time I was there.
“I’m happy. I’m going to a good, young team that can make a playoff push (and) is not that many points out. I’m going to do everything I can to help this team.”
The Canes can use some offensive help after scoring seven goals in the past four games. Forward Elias Lindholm was placed on injured reserve Wednesday by Carloina with an upper-body injury.
“We’re struggling to score and he’s a guy who knows how to score, so we’ll see,” Canes coach Bill Peters said Thursday.
Earlier this season, the Canes claimed forward Martin Frk off waivers from the Detroit Red Wings and soon had him in the lineup against the Wings.
That didn’t work out very well. After playing two games for the Canes as a fourth-line winger, Frk was placed on waivers by Carolina and claimed by the Wings, who brought him back into their organization.
Rattie scored 57 and then 48 goals in back-to-back seasons for the Portland Winterhawks on the Western Hockey League. He then had 31 goals in 72 games for the Wolves in the AHL in 2013-14, the same season he made his NHL debut for the Blues.
“We’ve got to make sure his opportunity is adequate,” Peters said. “His pedigree is an offensive player and goal-scorer.”