The Carolina Hurricanes announced today that Jamie McBain and Brandon Sutter had both been assigned to Albany. While they are gone today, there is little doubt they will both be back sometime in the future. Unfortunately for them, the Canes had already filled in all their positions with veteran players and there were no spots open. In other times, things might have been different.
Now it's up to them to use this opportunity to gain valuable experience in the AHL. During the lockout, Eric Staal and Cam Ward both played for a year in the development league and ended up to be better players because of it. Carolina management is counting on Sutter and McBain to do the same.
There are now 23 players in town which is the roster maximum allowed on opening night. The extras still here are Jay Harrison, who has locked up the seventh defenseman spot for now, Tim Conboy, who most likely will be the healthy extra on forward, and Michael Ryan, the versatile speedster who has missed the last two games because of an upper body concern, (concussion?).
Ryan would be the logical choice to stay in Raleigh for the other open spot because he has already been in the AHL for several years and has some NHL experience. Unlike Brandon Sutter, if Ryan does not get much playing time, his development won't suffer.