Here’s how quickly life can change in the NHL:
Ty Rattie was placed on waivers Tuesday by the St. Louis Blues.
He was claimed off waivers Wednesday by the Carolina Hurricanes.
He was placed on the Canes’ top line Thursday, with Victor Rask and Jeff Skinner, and played against his former team in St. Louis.
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He earned his first point in a Carolina uniform Friday, assisting on Rask’s goal against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Finally, he was in PNC Arena on Saturday for the first time this season, putting in a team practice, checking out his spot in the locker room.
“Obviously he’s probably got a lot going on in his head, with new systems and new surroundings,” Skinner said Saturday. “But I think he’s only going to get more comfortable.”
That sounds good to Rattie. The past few days have been a blur of packing, games, plane flights, rapid adjustments, hotel life.
Rattie, 24, said it was awkward Thursday during the pregame warmups at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, looking across the ice and seeing Robby Fabbri, Alexander Steen and the other Blues.
“In warmups, it was hard to focus because every time you skate around you’d see someone else smiling at you or something,” Rattie said Saturday. “It was a weird experience. But we got the win there, and it’s not easy to win in St. Louis. I was happy with the game.”
The Hurricanes won 4-2 as Derek Ryan had a pair of goals, Skinner scored on the power play and goalie Cam Ward had another tidy game in net.
The next night, it was Chicago. Trailing 2-0 in the final seconds of the second period, the Canes scored when Rattie got off a shot from the slot, and Rask knocked in the rebound for his first goal in 10 games and 11th of the season.
“He made a great play on the back check, coming back, and in transition he was in a good spot again, and he almost put it in,” Skinner said of Rattie. “We want to keep getting better five on five and we created a little bit. We want to create a little bit more.”
The Blackhawks, getting a strong game from goalie Scott Darling, took a 2-1 victory as Artemi Panarin’s power-play goal at 13:29 of the second period was the difference.
“It felt a lot better, and I felt more confident with the puck,” Rattie said. “I thought as a line we played good and as a team we played good, too. I thought we had a lot of speed through the neutral zone, and we took it to them most of the game.”
It’s not often a player is taken off waivers and is stuck on the top line of an NHL team. Rattie, a former second-round draft pick by the Blues, is getting that chance with Rask and Skinner.
“He’s a skilled guy who can shoot the puck really good and knows the game,” Rask said.
Canes coach Bill Peters said Saturday the Canes would continue to evaluate Rattie until the NHL All-Star break. That evaluation continues Sunday when the Canes host the Boston Bruins at PNC Arena in the first of four straight home games.
Rattie looked at home Saturday, once rifling in a shot off the rush. His last NHL goal came at PNC Arena, on Feb. 28, 2016, as the Blues beat the Canes 5-2.
That was day the Hurricanes traded Eric Staal to the New York Rangers not long before game time. Talk about an awkward situation and life changing quickly.