Canes skate; Stewart, Boucher dealt on 1st day of operations
Posted January 13, 2013
Updated January 14, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — The Carolina Hurricanes were busy on the first day of operations in the 2013 season, going through team physicals, making two deals, then hitting the ice for their first official team workout.
Following the ratification of the collective bargaining agreement by the NHL players association Saturday, and the subsequent formalization of the procedures, the freeze on the league was lifted and the ice was open. For the canes, that meant an 8 a.m. round of physicals, followed by a round of roster moves.
The first transaction on Sunday morning saw goaltender Brian Boucher and defenseman Mark Alt pack their bags for the Philadelphia Flyers organization in return for 23-year-old Luke Pither.
Pither has played in 35 games for two teams in the ECHL this year, toataling 25 points. He was immediately assigned to the Charlotte Checkers.
Filling the void for Boucher in net will be 32-year-old Dan Ellis, who agreed to terms with the Canes Sunday on a 1-year, $650,000 deal. Ellis was 8-7-2 in 18 starts with Charlotte this season holding a .922 save percentage and 2.46 goals against average.
“Dan is an experienced netminder who has had good years in the NHL, and played well for Charlotte this season,” said president and general manager Jim Rutherford. “We feel it is important to have a veteran goalie to partner with Cam during the compressed season.”
The second deal of the day, announced about an hour before the team hit the ice at PNC Arena, saw Anthony Stewart depart, along with two draft picks.
Stewart, who played in 77 games for the Canes last year notching 20 points, a fourth-round pick in 2013 and a sixth-round selection in 2014 all went to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for 28-year-old Kevin Westgarth.
Westgarth has played in 90 career NHL games, all with the Kings, racking up five points and 153 penalty minutes. He was also on the kings when they won the 2012 Stanley Cup.
“We were looking for a character, team guy who can play a gritty role for our team,” said Rutherford. “Kevin is a good addition to fill that spot.”
Shortly after the off-ice activity Sunday, the team took to the ice at PNC arena in front of a couple hundred fans seeking a long-awaited first glimpse. The team skated through non-contact drills and conditioning for the most part on their first day with five more scheduled workouts before their season opener on Saturday in Florida.
The Canes will practice at PNC Arena again on Monday at 11 a.m. before heading to Raleigh Center Ice on Tuesday for a scrimmage, also at 11 a.m. They will wrap-up the abbreviated camp with 11 a.m. practices Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at PNC Arena. All practices are open to the public.
Carolina will get their season started Saturday at the Florida Panthers. The home-opener will be Jan. 22 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.