Ahead of tonight’s matchup against the Nashville predators the Hurricanes have flopped Bishop and Luostarinen between the fourth line and Charlotte.
The revolving door on the fourth line continues as the Carolina Hurricanes call up their fourth prospect from Charlotte this season. While Brian Gibson and Julien Gauthier both played on that line on the wing, the Hurricanes felt it was time to give Eetu Luostarinen some time off in Charlotte and recall Clark Bishop up for another chance at the NHL.
So far Luostarinen has not been terrible for the Carolina Hurricanes through eight total games played surrounding the injuries sustained by Erik Haula. His play at center has been as expected from a rookie fourth line center. In those eight games he managed to gain an assist and remains at at a -2 rating even with the low scoring coming from his line.
That said it wouldn’t hurt for him to return to Charlotte and regain his spot as one of their best scorers. In the 12 games he has played so far with the Checkers he has five goals and three assists combining for eight points. Other reasons for sending him back down to Charlotte outside of simply giving him more ice time include saving the number of games he plays before his rookie status expires.
Clark Bishop on the other hand made his NHL debut last season and played about a quarter of the season, 20 games, before returning to Charlotte for good until he was recalled for two playoff games. In those 20 games he acquired his first NHL goal and a pair of assists. Bishop was replaced by Greg McKegg who went on to have a fantastic season helping the team to its first Playoff berth in almost a decade.
A fifth round pick from back in 2014, Bishop has crawled his way up from the ECHL where he has played 21 games for the Florida Everblades up to his second call up to the NHL. He has also played 191 games for the Checkers. That puts him at over 200 professional hockey games. He knows he is an underdog in this sport.
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Bishop is hoping to come into Raleigh tonight and do what he couldn’t last season and be a long term solution for the Hurricanes while Haula recovers. To do so he will have to play harder and better than he has in Charlotte so far. In 19 games played with the Checkers he only has three assists. That said his defensive play has tightened up and he sits on a +4 rating.
Perhaps with better linemates in the form of Brock McGinn, Jordan Martinook, and even Warren Foegele, Bishop could excel tonight and beyond. His first and only NHL goal last season was a crashing goal that needed to be reviewed. He would absolutely love to come in tonight and have a great showing against another good goalie and cement his place with the team for the foreseeable future.
Question for CC Readers: Is Clark Bishop the answer on the fourth line or should Carolina Have pushed on with Luostarinen?