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Canes’ LaRose explains hiatus: ‘I fell out of love with the sport’

Florida Panthers v Carolina Hurricanes

RALEIGH, NC - MARCH 02: NFL linesman Michel Cormier #76 tells Chad LaRose #59 of the Carolina Hurricanes to pipe down as LaRose complains about the officiating during play against the Florida Panthers at PNC Arena on March 2, 2013 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

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Carolina Hurricanes forward Chad LaRose basically lived out an 80’s hair rock ballad with hockey as he took off the 2013-14 season: you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

He put it more eloquently when discussing his hiatus with the Raleigh News & Observer, though:

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

The question is: will that fire remain even if the road back to the NHL is a difficult one?

The 32-year-old signed a deal this summer, but it’s a minor-league contract with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers. It’s anyone’s guess how much of a chance he really has to make a jump to the big club, especially if the trust isn’t there following his change of heart.

Granted, it’s a new regime with Ron Francis at GM and new head coach Bill Peters. Maybe it really is a clean slate even if this is a familiar locale.

Either way, LaRose will need to shake off any rust quickly. The odds are against him, but at least he’s “100 percent” invested this time around.

(H/T to Kukla’s Korner.)