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Hurricanes assign McKeown to Checkers, activate Stempniak from IR and send him to Charlotte on conditioning stint

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The young defenseman returns to Charlotte after a brief stint in the NHL, and the veteran forward is close to a return.

NHL: Florida Panthers at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes announced Thursday that they have assigned defenseman Roland McKeown to the AHL Charlotte Checkers. McKeown made his NHL debut against the Arizona Coyotes on November 4th. He earned two assists in a 3-1 win over Florida on Tuesday.

McKeown returns to a Charlotte club that is off to a hot start. Charlotte topped the Utica Comets 5-2 on Wednesday. The Checkers have won five of their last six games.

McKeown’s assignment likely means that Brett Pesce, who missed the last three games after suffering a concussion, will play tomorrow night when the Hurricanes face the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Edit: The Hurricanes have also announced they have activated forward Lee Stempniak from injured reserve. The winger, who missed the first 13 games of the season with an upper-body injury, has been assigned to Charlotte for a conditioning stint.

See the Hurricanes press releases below:

CANES ASSIGN McKEOWN TO CHARLOTTE

Defenseman recorded two assists in two games with Hurricanes

Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has assigned defenseman Roland McKeown to the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Charlotte Checkers.

McKeown, 21, has earned two assists in two games with the Hurricanes this season. The Listowel, Ont., native made his NHL/Hurricanes debut on Nov. 4 at Arizona and earned his first NHL/Hurricanes points with two assists against Florida on Nov. 7. McKeown has tallied three points (1g, 2a) in nine games with the Checkers this season and has recorded 15 points (2g, 13a) in 84 career AHL games. The 6’1”, 195-pound defenseman was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the second round, 50th overall, in the 2015 NHL Draft. McKeown was acquired by the Hurricanes from the Kings on Feb. 25, 2015, along with a first-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft (Julien Gauthier) in exchange for Andrej Sekera.

CANES ACTIVATE STEMPNIAK FROM IR; ASSIGN HIM TO CHARLOTTE FOR CONDITIONING PURPOSES

Forward has missed 13 games this season due to upper-body injury

Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has activated forward Lee Stempniak from injured reserve and assigned him to the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Charlotte Checkers for conditioning purposes.

Stempniak, 34, registered 40 points (16g, 24a) in 82 games with the Hurricanes last season. The West Seneca, NY, native ranked tied for fourth on the team in goals (16) in 2016-17 and was one of six Hurricanes skaters to appear in all 82 games. Stempniak has recorded 460 points (200g, 260a) in 872 career NHL games with St. Louis, Toronto, Arizona, Calgary, Pittsburgh, NY Rangers, Winnipeg, New Jersey, Boston and Carolina. He was drafted by St. Louis in the fifth round, 148th overall, in the 2003 NHL Draft and signed with the Hurricanes as a free agent on July 1, 2016. Stempniak has played in 26 career AHL games, recording 15 points (8g, 7a) for the Peoria Rivermen (AHL) during the 2005-06 season.