Trade: Hurricanes send Westgarth to Calgary for Nemisz


With a five-game losing streak and defeats in eight of their last nine games, the Carolina Hurricanes are looking to make changes. They made at least one small one on Monday, sending tough guy Kevin Westgarth to the Calgary Flames in exchange for Greg Nemisz.

Westgarth, 29, has nine points and 202 penalty minutes in 133 NHL games between the Hurricanes and Los Angeles Kings.

One might argue that Nemisz, 23, has the brighter future. He was the 25th pick of the 2008 NHL Draft, so perhaps there’s some potential there. He’s only managed one point in 15 NHL games between 2010-11 and 2011-12, so there’s also the possibility that he’ll mainly be a minor league player.

Again, the Canes might be looking to make some other moves, though.

Carolina GM Jim Rutherford vented his frustration about the team’s struggles to Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer earlier today.

“It’s got to stop now. We need more to contribute,” Rutherford said. ” … A handful of players are not playing to their potential.”

It would be silly for the Hurricanes to put Westgarth in that underachieving group, so we’ll see if this is a prelude to more interesting transactions.

Diaz could leave Rangers for Europe

Raphael Diaz, Mike Sislo
Leave a comment

Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?

We’ll know in a month.

Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:

The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.

The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.

If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.

Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”

And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.

While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.

Canucks say Markstrom (hamstring) out another week — could it be longer?

Leave a comment

Bit of uncertainty out of Vancouver regarding the health of backup goalie Jacob Markstrom.

Markstrom, a late drop from the Canucks’ 5-1 opening-night win over Calgary, has suffered a hamstring injury that will keep him sidelined for another week, the club announced on Thursday.

With Markstrom out, backup duties will stay with AHL call-up Richard Bachman, who served as Ryan Miller‘s No. 2 on Wednesday.

Now, the focus turns to how long Bachman keeps those duties.

Per a Sportsnet report, Markstrom could miss up to three weeks of action with his injury. If that’s the case, Bachman will almost certainly be called into action; the Canucks will play eight games in 17 nights starting with Saturday’s home-opener against the Flames, which includes back-to-backs in Los Angeles and Anaheim on Oct. 12 and 13.

It would be asking a lot of the No. 1, 35-year-old Ryan Miller, to shoulder that entire load.

Bachman does have some NHL experience, with nearly 50 games to his credit. That includes a 3-2-0 record with the Oilers last year, in which he posted a 2.84 GAA and .911 save percentage.