Andrew Hutchinson was a last minute add-on or fill-in for Team USA in their quest for World Championship gold this year. Several people, including this blogger, questioned the reasoning behind adding the defenseman to a virtual all-star team when he couldn't even start on his own hockey club. But as usual, the armchair general managers were wrong! Hutch leads all Hurricanes playing this offseason in points scored so far with 3. That means he is outscoring highly paid superstars Erik Cole, Eric Staal, and Justin Williams. Keep up the great work Andrew!
Team USA opened the qualifying rounds yesterday with a 4-2 win over Team Slovakia. The Americans are now 3 wins and 1 loss with Hurricane's goalie John Grahame playing every game between the pipes so far for the Yanks. For a brief recap of the game you can check this page. USA plays their next game against Team Germany, Saturday morning. The Germans will not be an easy mark as they most recently beat the Czechs 2-0. Yep, that's the same Czech team which beat the Americans a few days ago. Good luck boys!
Speaking of American born defensemen, it was recently reported by the News and Observer that Bret Hedican was flying to Colorado this week to have his bum hip checked out. Hedican missed 32 games this year and played injured in the vast majority of the games in which he was on the ice. The Canes are in a precarious situation with the wounded defenseman. Bret has an option year for 2.43 million which would put the Canes that much closer to their self imposed salary cap. But realistically, just how healthy can he be at training camp? Will he take advantage of his "player option" even though he might not be 100% healthy? Do the Hurricanes have any veto power to turn down his option request if they feel he is not healthy? There are many unanswered questions and this whole thing could get sticky and will be interesting to watch unfold. Keep in mind that Hedican and the Hurricanes went through a similar disagreement back during the lockout when Bret claimed that he was injured before the lockout started and wanted to be paid his regular salary during the lockout as a form of disability payment. The Canes refused saying that he passed his physical at year end and was not injured as far as they were concerned or aware of. The disagreement lingered on and I'm not sure how that whole situation worked out, but a couple of million dollars were at stake back then, same as it is now. Hopefully, Hedican can regain his past form and all this conjecture will be a moot point, but if not, watch for the boxing gloves to possibly come out over this.