When the Carolina Hurricanes found out that Joni Pitkanen was going to be out for the 2013-14 season, still recovering from his heel injury, the defense was dealt a serious blow, losing one of its main pieces.
Ron Hainsey was signed to replace Pitkanen, but it looks like now that defenseman Brett Bellemore could also make the Canes team and help replace the Finnish defenseman.
Bellemore played eight games for the Hurricanes last season, recording two assists and looked like he belonged in the NHL.
At the start of the summer, Bellemore was considered as a possibility for the defense this season, but Andrej Sekera was traded for and Mike Komisarek was signed making it seem unlikely Bellemore would make the team.
But through his three games in the preseason, Bellemore has impressed across Twitter and has seen his minutes grow in the games.
I know he just took a penalty, but Bellemore has looked great tonight. Making a lot of smart plays away from the puck.
— Corey Sznajder (@ShutdownLine) September 22, 2013
If I were Kirk Muller, I'd make sure Brett Bellemore and Riley Nash were regulars in the #Canes lineup this season.
— Andrew Hirsh (@andrewhirsh) September 22, 2013
Brett Bellemore doing a lot of good things tonight and has been key part of PK.
— Michael Smith (@MSmithCanes) September 22, 2013
In the first two preseason games, Bellemore played just over 17 minutes, but last night the 25-year-old played over 21 minutes in the win.
But the Hurricanes still had to deal with bad news as Tim Gleason left in the second period with an upper-body injury and did not return. The severity of the injury has not been announced.
If Gleason does end up missing some time, Bellemore would be the perfect replacement. The Ontario native can play a gritty defensive game just like Gleason and play the penalty kill.
If Gleason is healthy, Bellemore would have to beat out Jay Harrison, Ryan Murphy and Komisarek to make the lineup.
It may be difficult, but Bellemore has done well in the preseason so far and could be on the roster on opening night.