Joey Daccord could use another taste of the National Hockey League level.
He could also use a nap.
The 25-year-old goaltender, who has four games with the Kraken this season, re-appeared in practice on Monday at Kraken Community Iceplex to join Philipp Grubauer and Chris Driedger after a call-up that was made official this morning from Charlotte, where he helped secure a division title and set a Checkers franchise record with a .925 save percentage in 34 American Hockey League games.
How he got here is worth a movie script in similar vein to “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.”
“I flew from Providence, to Charlotte, went home, moved out of my apartment, drove to the rink, Uber to the airport, Charlotte to Detroit, then Detroit to here, got into midnight, practice this morning,” said Daccord, who went 19-11-2 in the regular season for the Atlantic Division champion Checkers.
There’s also a matter at hand to take care of, as far as that apartment. His lease ended this week – the AHL regular season is done, and the Checkers don’t play for another two weeks because of a first-round bye in the Calder Cup Playoffs. Still, with a short-term rental secured for the postseason, Daccord had to pack all of his belongings, stuff them into his car, then hurry to the airport in Charlotte to catch a flight into Seattle with a layover.
He almost missed the flight because of heavy foot traffic, he said which looked like “one end to the other” in the airport.
“It took me an hour to get through security,” said Daccord. “(The airport gate intercom) called me and I answered, ‘please, there are four people in front me. I will run as fast as I can!’”
“My calves are sore from running through the whole airport.”
Daccord, who didn’t even think twice about the benefit of taking a nap and said, “I’m knocking straight out,” when the Kraken arrive into Vancouver, was thrilled to get back to a team where he began his NHL season – a full circle trip that included a start on Oct. 19 against New Jersey and a spot on the blueline during pre-game introductions in the first ever home game in Kraken history.
Head coach Dave Hakstol, though not committing to a specific game, said Daccord is likely earn a start in one of the final four games to finish the NHL regular season, before Charlotte opens the postseason. The Kraken visit the Canucks on Tuesday, return home for their final two home games against Los Angeles on Wednesday and San Jose on Friday, then finish the season at Winnipeg on Sunday.
“He’s had a real good stretch down in Charlotte,” said Hakstol. “He’s done a great job for the group down there and has earned the opportunity to be up here.”
Daccord was joined on recall with defenseman Dennis Cholowski, pouring in a steady 18-point, 31-game season at the AHL level while leaving the Kraken organization in October on a waiver claim to the Washington Capitals for seven games, then coming back Feb. 9 on another claim.
“He’s had a challenging season,” said Hakstol. “He’s ready to go. Obviously, he’s got good power play ability and some of the elements if (Vince Dunn) is not available that fit in well.”
Dunn, who was replaced by Cholowski on the Kraken power play unit, and Kole Lind did not skate on Monday, both out on a day-to-day basis with upper body ailments.
They have joined Jaden Schwartz on the sidelines, who has appeared in only eight games since Dec. 30 due to injuries and could miss the remainder of the season with an upper body ailment.
Hakstol was asked if he expects Schwartz, with 23 points in 37 games, to come back for any of the remaining four games.
“Not at this point,” said Hakstol.
The Kraken will visit the Canucks, 7pm PT (93.3 KJR / Kraken Audio Network) on Tuesday in their final meeting of the regular season at Rogers Arena.
Kraken practice lineup, Apr. 25:
POWER PLAY UNITS:
PP1: Donato (net), McCann, Eberle, Beniers, Soucy (point)
PP2: Gourde (net), Sprong, Donato, Rask, Cholowski (point)