It's only about 160 miles from Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena to Raleigh’s PNC Arena, so Drive Jordan may be a more appropriate nickname than Air. Regardless, Charlotte Checkers defenseman Michal Jordan will be recalled to the Hurricanes Thursday and could make his NHL debut tonight when Carolina hosts the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Jordan, the latest in a long line former Plymouth Whalers to crack the Canes roster, has big skates — and shoes — to fill if he does play tonight. With Carolina’s two highest paid defensemen, Joni Pitkanen and Tim Gleason, out and questionable, respectively, with injuries, Jordan would be one of four blueliners under the age of 25 playing this evening. He also, of course, has to emerge from the most daunting of Triangle shadows since he's one letter shy of sharing a name with one of the most well-known athletes ever — former North Carolina basketball and NBA superstar Michael Jordan.
The hockey-playing Jordan is having his best professional season this year, earning a spot in the AHL All-Star Classic and registering six goals and nine assists in 48 games for the Checkers. As Paul Branecky said in his feature on Jordan, the 22-year-old Czech is being relied on in all situations by Charlotte coach Jeff Daniels and has emerged as the team’s top blueliner with Justin Faulk and Bobby Sanguinetti both in Raleigh.
Here's the release from the team:
‘CANES RECALL MICHAL JORDAN FROM CHARLOTTE
Marks defenseman’s first career NHL recall
RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has recalled defenseman Michal Jordan (mee-KAL jor-DAN) from the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL). Jordan will join the Hurricanes for the team’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at PNC Arena.
Jordan, 22, is in his third professional season and has scored six goals and earned nine assists (15 points) in 48 games this season with Charlotte. On Jan. 28, he represented the Checkers when he skated for the Western Conference in the 2013 AHL All-Star Game in Providence, RI. In 2011-12, Jordan (6’1", 195 lbs.) ranked second among Charlotte blueliners with 22 points (4g, 18a) and eight power-play points (0g, 8a). The Zlin, Czech Republic, native has notched 14 goals and earned 41 assists in 191 career AHL regular-season games with the Checkers, and has yet to make his NHL debut. The Hurricanes drafted Jordan in fourth round, 105th overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
• It looks like Dan Ellis will get the nod in net for Carolina, while Toronto — without starter James Reimer due to injury — will start Ben Scrivens.
• The forward lines look like they will stay the same, with Kevin Westgarth again looking like the healthy scratch.