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January 14, 2016

Chad Larose

Chad Larose was a nice player for the Carolina Hurricanes for eight seasons.

A versatile forward who could play either wing was a feisty little spark plug, always using his shifty, quick feet to dart around the ice, especially on the forecheck. A courageous player who played bigger than his limited size would suggest, he had underrated offensive skills, twice popping 19 goals in a season.

In 508 career games, all with the Hurricanes, Larose - known to his teammates as Rosie - would score 85 goals and 180 points.

But the highlight of his career came in his rookie season. He was used as an energy player on the fourth line, and only collected one assists in 21 playoff games, but he helped Carolina capture the Stanley Cup in 2006.

The low point of his career came near the end. As injuries piled up and the heavy demands of a NHL player weighed more and more, Larose walked away from the game in 2013.

“I had just built up a lot of anger towards the game,” LaRose told the Raleigh News Observer “I wanted to get away. I didn’t know I would ever play again, to be honest. I kind of fell out of love with the sport and didn’t have much passion for it anymore. But sometimes you have to lose what you have to realize what you had.”

"I'm an undrafted free agent. Every year, when I came into training camp, even if I had 19 goals [or] won a Stanley Cup, a first-round draft pick had my spot until he couldn't cut it. Every year. And it just built up," LaRose said. "You see some guys get certain breaks and that's going to happen -- I've seen that my whole career -- but I just built up more hate for it and I didn't want to do that, not like guys because they were getting the chance and I wasn't."

Larose made a comeback attempt in 2014-15 but was never called up from the minor leagues. A knee injury out of training camp certainly did not help. He retired again at the end of that season, but this time he left the game on a better note.

All in all he had a pretty good career considering he was never drafted even after a 61 goal, 117 point season in the OHL. He signed on as a free agent in the ECHL before signing on with the Hurricanes organization in 2003.

Chad Larose, who grew up idolizing Steve Yzerman, always made the most of his opportunities whether it came on or off the ice.

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