The National Hockey League finally opened for business just after midnight Sunday, and the Carolina Hurricanes were one of the most active teams in the league when the doors opened. In separate deals Sunday morning, the Canes sent Brian Boucher, Anthony Stewart and prospect Mark Alt packing, trading Boucher and Alt to the Philadelphia Flyers for minor-league center Luke Pither and Stewart to the Los Angeles Kings with two draft picks for rugged forward Kevin Westgarth.
Boucher became expendable when Dan Ellis, late of the Anaheim Ducks, was signed to a minor-league deal in the offseason and earned a shot to be Cam Ward's backup. Ellis signed a $650,000 prorated contract with the Canes not long after the Boucher trade was finalized, and with Boucher traded and Justin Peters not invited to camp it would seem that the Canes' goalie tandem is set.
Westgarth had been skating with Canes players at RCI during the lockout. He did not play in the Kings' Stanley Cup-winning playoff push last year, but had two points and 39 penalty minutes in 25 regular-season games with Los Angeles. He makes his offseason home in Raleigh, and his wife, Meagan, is a graduate of Ravenscroft School and the daughter of Raleigh resident and former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher.
The releases from the team are below.
‘CANES ACQUIRE PITHER FROM FLYERS FOR BOUCHER, ALT
Center has 25 points in 35 ECHL games this season
RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has acquired center Luke Pither (PIH-tuhr) from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for goaltender Brian Boucher and defenseman Mark Alt. Pither will be assigned to the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL).
Pither, 23, has totaled 25 points (11g, 14a) and 18 penalty minutes in 35 games with Trenton andWheeling of the ECHL this season. The Burketon, Ont., native signed as a free agent with the Flyers on March 4, 2010, after totaling 250 points (104g, 146a) in 307 games during a five-year Ontario Hockey League (OHL) career with Kingston, Guelph, Belleville and Barrie. In two seasons with Adirondack of the American Hockey League (AHL), Pither (6’0", 186 lbs.) has notched 30 points (11g, 19a) in 106 games.
‘CANES AGREE TO TERMS WITH GOALTENDER DAN ELLIS
Veteran netminder agrees to one-year contract
RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with goaltender Dan Ellis on a one-year contract. The deal will pay Ellis a prorated $650,000 for the 2012-13 season.
"Dan is an experienced netminder who has had good years in the NHL, and played well for Charlotte this season," said Rutherford. "We feel it is important to have a veteran goalie to partner with Cam during the compressed season."
Ellis, 32, is 8-7-2 with a 2.46 goals-against average and .922 save percentage in 18 games this season with the Hurricanes’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers. The Saskatoon, Sask., native is 72-57-15 with a 2.68 goals-against average and 12 shutouts in 165 career NHL games with Dallas, Nashville, Tampa Bay and Anaheim. Originally selected by Dallas in the second round, 60th overall, in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Ellis has appeared in seven career Stanley Cup playoff games, going 2-5 with a 2.87 goals-against average and .928 save percentage.
‘CANES ACQUIRE KEVIN WESTGARTH FROM LOS ANGELES
Carolina sends Anthony Stewart and two draft picks to Kings
RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has acquired forward Kevin Westgarth from the Los Angeles Kings. In exchange for Westgarth, Carolina has traded forward Anthony Stewart, its 2013 fourth-round draft pick and a sixth-round selection in the 2014 draft to the Kings.
"We were looking for a character, team guy who can play a gritty role for our team," saidRutherford. "Kevin is a good addition to fill that spot."
Westgarth, 28, is entering his seventh professional season. In 2011-12, he played 25 games with Los Angeles, notching one goal, earning one assist (2 points) and accumulating 39 penalty minutes. In 90 career NHL regular-season games with the Kings, the Amhurstberg, Ont., native has earned five points (1g, 4a) while totaling 153 penalty minutes. Westgarth appeared in all six of the Kings’ 2011 postseason games, recording two assists, 14 penalty minutes and a plus-2 rating.
Westgarth (6’4", 234 lbs.) originally signed with Los Angeles as a free agent on March 16, 2007, after four seasons at Princeton University. In addition to his NHL experience, he has totaled 22 goals, 28 assists (50 points) and 580 penalty minutes in 224 American Hockey League (AHL) games withManchester.