Hockey is a physical game. Just the other day a goalie (wearing a mask) lost two teeth just by doing his job. Watching the Carolina Hurricanes this season, a lack of toughness is noticeable. There is no Jesse Boulerice or Kevin Westgarth to speak of.
Each of the past two games, there have been a glaring example where the Hurricanes could use an enforcer.
The Carolina Hurricanes Should Make a Waiver Claim on Dylan McIlrath
In Philadelphia, Carolina got off to a 2-0 lead. Philly took a controlling lead into the late stages of the game. Wayne Simmonds was getting involved physically with many Hurricanes players along the bench. Simmonds started throwing punches, looking for anyone to take part. Jeff Skinner took most of the wrath from Simmonds. Taking a few hits, Skinner defended himself but was not looking to dance.
While Bryan Bickell was seen on the bench jawing at Simmonds. That “verbal” abuse was the extent of the retaliation. Here, Carolina is playing a road game. They have blown a two goal lead and are on the verge of a loss. Simmonds is throwing punches at Skinner who is undoubtably the most important player to the Hurricanes offense. You can not have punches thrown at your best player and not have anyone on the team back him up. That is exactly what happened here. Carolina had no one to hop over the bench, respect the logo on the front of their sweater and scrap with Simmonds.
Consequently, Jeff Skinner (middle-body injury) missed the next game.
Facing the Red Wings
Without the help of Skinner, the Canes got off to a slow start in Detroit. Detroit took a three goal lead into the first intermission and Carolina looked dead. A team down 3-0 needs a spark to get them going. One way to spark a team, score a goal. An easier way to spark a team, drop the gloves. Again, Carolina found their roster lacking a candidate.
The New York Rangers have just put defenseman Dylan Mcilrath on waivers. Mcilrath was a first round pick and is only 24 years old. More importantly, Mcilrath has fought eight times in 39 career games.
The Canes need a tough guy. Mcilrath is tough and up for grabs.
October 3, 2016: New York Rangers defenseman Dylan McIlrath (6) during a Preseason National Hockey League game between the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)