Today the National Hockey League went crazy with the Memorandum of Understanding being signed officially ending the lockout at 12:00AM, the fun began. It was a big day for the Carolina Hurricanes as they said goodbye to goaltender Brian Boucher, defenseman Mark Alt and a couple of draft picks to make room for some new talent.
The first news to break this morning was that the Hurricanes had added Luke Pither from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for back-up goaltender Brian Boucher and defenseman Mark Alt. Pithur, a twenty-three year old center, has appeared in 35 games for the ECHL this season with his time being spent with both Wheeling and Trenton. He has posted 25 points with 11 goals and 14 assists and is expected to report to the Charlotte Checkers.
With Brian Boucher leaving the Hurricanes organization, that left room for a new goaltender to be signed and why shop around when you have talent right under your nose? Shortly after the news broke about Boucher leaving, the Hurricanes released a statement they had signed Dan Ellis to a one-year, prorated $650,000 contract. Ellis, who is coming back from a groin injury and is fresh from the Anaheim Ducks, has appeared in 18 games with the Charlotte Checkers this season. He has posted a record of 8-7-2 and holds a 2.46 goals against average and .922 save percentage.
Last but not least the Canes announced that they acquired Kevin Westgarth from the Los Angeles Kings for Anthony Stewart and 2 draft picks in the 2013&2014 drafts respectively. Westgarth appeared in 25 games for LA and registered a goal, an assist and over 90 penalty minutes.
With the newest additions to the team along with Jordan Staal, Alexandre Semin and budding stars from Charlotte, the Hurricanes are overflowing with talent and depth. They will use this week to work out the kinks and determine what works best, but I would expect to see a much different Hurricanes team than the previous few years. There is no doubt they are ready for Cup contention this season, 48-games should play to their favor if they can come out strong right out of the gate.