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Looks More Like Anton Babchuk Is On Way Back To Raleigh

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Carolina Hurricanes beat reporter Chip Alexander has been busy today and updated his Canes Now blog regarding the Canes.  He also Twittered some news, although none of it was necessarily new or breaking.  

(edit)  But while there might not be much new, it's good to know the latest and greatest.

The news update included:

As we reported after the end of season press conference, Carolina GM Jim Rutherford is attempting to re-sign defenseman Anton Babchuk.  Apparently that process is progressing but is still not complete.  It certainly does look like Babchuk will be back though, since his name is now listed on the Hurricanes depth chart.

Also, Rutherford met with Rod Brind`Amour and Ray Whitney since the end of the season, but nothing new has happened on either front.  Whitney would like to stay here and the Canes would like that as well, but for how long?  That is the magic question.

Apparently, the Canes might consider moving up in the draft to get one of the three top rated defensemen, (this was also mentioned by Paul Branecky last month), but they are happy at the 7th spot as well.  (Interpret that anyway you would like.)

Rutherford still would not commit to whether the organization is looking to draft a defenseman or a forward with their top pick.

The team will play an exhibition game in Russia against a KHL team, but the details have yet to be firmed up.  

In other news:

Jussi Jokinen scored two goals as Team Finland moved on in the World Championships yesterday with a 5-2 win over Slovakia.  Oskar Osala has also played in recent games and has been a physical presence.   

Team Canada, who is led by captain Ray Whitney, advanced to the next level as well.

The San Jose Sharks are trying to find playing time for their seven defenseman, and Niclas Wallin is feeling the pinch.

"It's hard," Wallin admitted. "You just want to play hockey. I don't really have an answer for you. It's obviously easier to play if you're out there every second time, every third time. It is what it is. I think we're doing a pretty good job. If that's what (McLellan) wants to do, that's his decision and we'll go from there."

The playoffs continue tonight with a doubleheader starting at 7.  Can Michael Leighton continue to shine?