Patrice Cormier is getting his chance to play in the NHL.
It’s just at a different position right now.
Cormier, a natural center, has played left wing for most of his14 games since being recalled from AHL Chicago on Dec. 28. He has most recently been on a line with Bryan Little and Anthony Stewart as Evander Kane (mid-body) has missed the past four games.
Cormier said he played left wing in Chicago when he returned from a broken foot that cost him the early part of the season and a chance to break training camp with the Thrashers.
“I like the left wing,” Cormier said before Wednesday’s game against Washington. “I’ll play wherever the put me. I’ll play right wing too.”
Injuries have hit the Thrashers hard of late. Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay has called for all players – even the young ones – to step up and make a difference.
Here is Cormier. He is seen by Thrashers general manager Rick Dudley as a third-line center. Now, he’s the second-line left wing. Ramsay said the position change was not an issue. Dealing with the tempo of the NHL was more of a concern.
“I think he feels good on the left wing,” Ramsay said. “I don’t think that’s a big an issue as it might be with some players. He doesn’t mind board confrontations. He enjoys that. He’s a kid that can really battle. I think it cuts down on the amount that he has to skate up and down the ice. He gets to get involved in some confrontational situations as a winger and I think he enjoys that.”
Cormier has a goal and an assist in his brief stint. Still, he admits he must pick up the offensive part of his game.
“For me, personally, offensively I have to do more,” Cormier said. “I have to try little things. I never want to get caught on the defensive side but I think I need to start to work more offensively keeping the puck and doing plays for [Stewart] and Little, two pretty good players.”