After spending two seasons playing in Europe, Steve McCarthy is returning to North America. He has agreed to terms with the Calgary’s AHL-affiliate, the Abbotsford Heat, according to the Flames’ official website.
McCarthy was taken by the Chicago Blackhawks with the 23rd overall pick in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. Since then he has recorded 55 points and 168 penalty minutes in 302 career NHL games with the Blackhawks, Vancouver Canucks, and Atlanta Thrashers.
He hasn’t played in the NHL since 2007-08, but has previously worked with new Flames coach Bob Hartley, both as a member of the Thrashers and last season when they were both part of the Swiss Elite League’s Zurich Lions.
McCarthy had three goals and seven assists in 27 games with Zurich and Hartley guided the team to the Swiss Elite League Championship.
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It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.