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Rats practice full of surprises

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River Rats head coach-GM Jeff Daniels said this afternoon that the team's leading goal-scorer, Michael Ryan, may not be headed back to Albany, after all.

Published reports both on the Carolina Hurricanes Website and the Raleigh News & Observer said that Ryan, 28, was placed on waivers at noon today. He'd only be eligible to return if he was placed on waivers and subsequently cleared.

Ryan did not attend Carolina's practice this morning in Raleigh.

"I don't think he's coming down," Daniels said. "I believe they're keeping him there. I don't expect to see anyone coming down from Carolina, so that leaves us two guys short."

One of the players Daniels was looking at bringing back was forward Brock Hooton, who had been playing for ECHL Reading. A 6-foot-2, 205-pound right wing, Hooton playd one game for Albany, going scoreless and minus-1 with three shots in a 3-2 shootout win over Portland Feb. 7 at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

Along with Reading defenseman Steve Ward, who also spent time with the Rats this season and last, Hooton was signed to a pro tryout by the Norfolk Admirals on Wednesday. They made their debut in a 4-3 loss to Philadelphia last night, Ward picking up an assist.

"We called on him, too," Daniels said of Hooton, "but he decided to go to Norfolk. I guess they could promise him more time with the team, where I couldn't promise him anything beyond this weekend."

Daniels hopes to bring in two players to fill out Albany's roster before Friday's game at Springfield.

"We'll have to see who's available and who I can rustle up by then," he said.


Ok guess I jumped the gun. Guess we will not be seeing Ryan back. But good for him thow.

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