The Carolina Hurricanes could be getting back Brett Pesce soon.
After being ruled out for the rest of the season, could Carolina Hurricanes’ defenseman Brett Pesce actually return for the postseason?
With the NHL forced to cancel the remainder of the regular season, postpone the postseason, and adopt a new playoff format it is highly possible that Carolina Hurricanes’ defenseman Brett Pesce could make an unexpected return to the lineup.
Pesce was originally ruled out for the remainder of the 2019-20 NHL season back in early March when it was announced that he’s undergone shoulder surgery. With the league’s recent announcement that teams won’t be allowed to start “training camps” till after July 10th, close to his 4-6 month recovery timetable, he could make a surprise return this season.
Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell stated in an interview that this will all depend on multiple factors. If the NHL resumes play near the end of July/early August and Carolina actually qualifies for the playoffs by defeating the New York Rangers in a five-game play-in series, without any setbacks, Brett would then be good to go at some point.
Averaging a little of 21 minutes a night, the Canes were looking for someone, or multiple someones, to step up in his absence. Those 21 minutes are night are hard minutes, often against opposing team’s top offensive guys. A key piece to the puzzle on the back end, it wasn’t going to be easy to replace the elite defensive ability of Pesce.
At the time, the Hurricanes were going to be without both Brett Pesce and Dougie Hamilton for their postseason push so they went out and acquired two additional top four guys at the trade deadline in Brady Skjei and Sami Vatanen.
Now, with a target of the middle of August, his return to the lineup would make a crowed Hurricanes blueline even more so. Clearly one of Carolina’s better players, his return would make a difficult decision of who to scratch on the backend even more difficult.
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When completely healthy the team would have an equal number of left and right shot options available. It is no secret that the defensive unit is what sets the Carolina Hurricanes apart from the rest of the league. Already one of the deepest with him out of the lineup, his addition would have to make the Cane’s defense one of the best, if not the best, in the entire NHL.
With a couple of guys on expiring deals, this may be the only chance we get to see a defense this stacked in Carolina for a long time. Let’s just hope that the Hurricanes make a deep postseason run and for a speedy recovery for Brett so that we can see what kind of damage this team can do.
Question for CC readers: What are your thoughts on a possible return of Brett Pesce?