Sandpaper and glue. When general managers speak of their hockey rosters, you’d think they shopped for players at a hardware store.
Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford executed one of his patented early-season trades today, changing brands of sandpaper in a swap with the Calgary Flames. Defenseman Anton Babchuk and gritty forward Tom Kostopoulos are gone to western Canada for blueliner Ian White and forward Brett Sutter, an older cousin of Canes alternate captain Brandon Sutter.
Something seemed to be brewing Tuesday as Rutherford claimed winger Troy Bodie off waivers from the Anaheim Ducks. Bodie’s the kind of player who will throw more punches than he puts shots on goal, but after the way that the Philadelphia Flyers pushed the young Canes around in an 8-1 massacre last week, sending teenage phenom Jeff Skinner skidding on his rear a few times, it’s a sure bet Bodie won’t be expected to develop a scorer’s touch. His presence made Kostopoulos expendable, although the journeyman’s versatility and consistency will be missed.
Babchuk, who had been a capable veteran partner for Jay Harrison, and had been rediscovering his point shot on recent power plays, gives way to White, who is the most accomplished player in this deal. After compiling 38 points last year between the Flames and the Toronto Maple Leafs, White’s departure provides some salary-cap relief for the Flames. He might well be an upgrade over Babchuk.
Dark clouds had been gathering over Brett Sutter, who can’t seem to stay on an NHL roster despite his bloodline. Sutter cleared waivers in October and was demoted to Calgary’s AHL team after a recent incident in which he allegedly punched a taxi driver in Scottsdale, Ariz. Oh, and the kicker is that his own father just traded him—Calgary’s general manager is Darryl Sutter. I don’t think I want to join the Sutter family around the Thanksgiving table this year.
None of the traded players will join his team for Wednesday night action, so the Canes also recalled Brett Carson from their AHL team in Charlotte for his fourth visit to Raleigh already this year. Carson might consider changing the number on his sweater to 85 since he spending about as much time driving that highway as he is skating on a sheet of ice.