The Carolina Hurricanes announced yesterday that the Albany River Rats have been sold to Charlotte Checkers owner Michael Kahn. Rutherford said the Carolina organization approached Kahn about a year ago with an offer that if he acquired an AHL franchise, the Hurricanes would be their parent club. “When we looked at our vision of hockey in North Carolina, it wasn’t just about going to Raleigh,” said Jim Rutherford, the Hurricanes’ longtime general manager. “It was about growing the sport throughout the whole state. We really feel that this is a huge step forward for hockey in North Carolina and the South.” The Albany River Rats will remain the teams AHL affiliate throughout the rest of the 2009-2010 regular season and Calder cup playoffs. Charlotte will start affiliation with the Hurricanes beginning the 2010-2011 season.