Tag: Charlotte Checkers

Vancouver Canucks v Carolina Hurricanes

Canes’ Murphy: ‘I was a little spoiled last year’


Hurricanes defenseman Ryan Murphy is in his second full season with the organization and getting used to the shuttle service between Carolina and Charlotte.

He began this season, like last, with the Hurricanes, but once again has seen time in the American Hockey League with the Checkers.

“It’s been a bit of a roller coaster… getting the demotion and going down and playing in Charlotte,” Murphy told PHT this week. “But I took it as an opportunity to work hard and get back up here.

“The last 10 games since I’ve been (in the NHL) have been good to me.”

Murphy made the Canes’ opening day roster last season out of training camp and appeared in 48 games with Carolina recording 12 points, 10 penalty minutes and a minus-9 rating while averaging 18:17 in ice time a night. Near the midway mark of the season the Canes sent Murphy to the AHL where he appeared in 22 games scoring three goals and 22 points to go along with a plus-7 rating.

Murphy isn’t frustrated at the notion of going through a similar process this season.

“I think I was a little spoiled last year,” he said. “I never got a taste of the American league, I went straight to the NHL (from junior) and getting that demotion just over the halfway mark, near the Olympic break, was a bit upsetting for me, but then again, it was an opportunity for me to go down and try to work hard to get back up.”

A year older, Murphy, 21, better understands the situation this season.

“I know how it goes, only the elite, very elite defensemen can make it as an 18, 19, 20-year-old, that’s a tough thing to do,” he said. “There’s a lot of mature hockey players out here and I’m just trying to do my best to have good body positioning and get stronger every day.”

Murphy has spent 25 games this season with the Checkers collecting 17 assists, 10 penalty minutes and a minus-7 rating. He’s had the added help of retired NHL defenseman Steve Smith, who joined the Hurricanes coaching staff in the offseason.

“Any time he tells you something about the defensive zone, you definitely want to apply it to your game,” said Muprhy. “He’s obviously a man that’s played a lot of games in this league. Although our games aren’t exactly the same, he still knows a lot and anytime he tells you anything, you really want to emphasize putting it into your game.”

Now in his second full season as a professional, Murphy understands what he needs to do to stick at the NHL level.

“Take care of my own zone first and after that, let my offensive ability take over, but defense first for sure,” he said.

Murphy is currently in the AHL and will represent the Checkers at the AHL All-Star Classic, but the expectation is he’ll return to Carolina following the All-Star break.

Video: Canes’ Rask scores first NHL goal

New York Islanders v Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurrcanes bid for a second straight win is off to a good start.

Rookie Victor Rask has his first NHL goal and the ‘Canes lead the L.A. Kings 1-0 after 20 minutes.

Rask, Carolina’s 2011 second-round pick (42nd overall), is appearing in his 10th career game tonight. The 21-year-old had 16 goals and 39 points in 76 games with the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League last season.

Canes add LaRose, cut nine

Chad LaRose

The Carolina Hurricanes announced Saturday the club has added forward Chad LaRose to its’ training camp roster on a professional tryout.

LaRose, who sat out the entire 2013-14 season, signed a contract with the Hurricanes’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers, this summer.

The 32-year-old scored 85 goals and 80 points to go along with 286 penalty minutes in 508 career NHL games all with Carolina before missing last season.

Additionally, the Canes’ announced defensemen Trevor Carrick, Dennis Robertson and Keegan Lowe along with goaltender Daniel Altshuller were assigned to the Checkers.

Carolina has placed forwards Ben Holmstrom, Justin Shugg, Greg Nemisz and Jared Staal on waivers. All four will be assigned to Charlotte if they clear.

Forward Kyle Hagel, who has an AHL contract with Charlotte, has been released from Hurricanes’ camp.

Jeff Skinner doesn’t report to AHL Charlotte’s camp

Jeff Skinner
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Jeff Skinner was projected to be one of the AHL’s top players for the duration of the lockout, but it remains to be seen if he’ll actually play in the league.

He chose not to report to the Charlotte Checkers’ training camp for fitness testing on Friday and Checkers coach Jeff Daniels doesn’t expected Skinner to be on the ice with them tomorrow, according to the Checkers’ official website.

“He’s still back in the Toronto area training,” said Daniels. “He has the team’s consent, and we’ll see where things go from here.”

The Hurricanes assigned Skinner to the AHL prior to the lockout, which gives him the option to play for Charlotte if he so chooses.

“If this lockout drags on and he decides he wants to play some games, Charlotte will be an option for him,” said Daniels.

Checkers fans can still take comfort in the fact that the team expects the other players on their camp roster to attend, including Justin Faulk, who played in 66 NHL games last season.

Dan Ellis signs tryout contract…with AHL Charlotte

Dan Ellis

The harsh reality of the lockout has hit home for Dan Ellis.

The 32-year-old netminder — a veteran of seven NHL seasons and 165 games — has been on the job hunt throughout the summer, a search that ended Monday with a professional tryout contract in AHL Charlotte.

More, from the Checkers website:

The arrival of Ellis, who spent each of the last two seasons backing up Jonas Hiller with the Anaheim Ducks, will give the Checkers four goalies at camp.

Two of those, Justin Peters and John Muse, are under NHL contracts with the Carolina Hurricanes, while another, rookie Rob Madore, signed an AHL deal with the Checkers this summer.

Ellis is one of a slew of experienced players who have joined up with AHL teams since the beginning of the NHL’s labor stoppage.

Ellis made waves earlier this summer when he emailed Vancouver Province writer Ben Kuzma, essentially petitioning for a backup gig to Cory Schneider (this was based on the assumption the Canucks would eventually deal Roberto Luongo which, obviously, hasn’t happened yet.)

“I’m still looking and there are some options in Europe, but I think I’ve got more than enough to give in the NHL,” Ellis said at the time. “That [Europe] is not an avenue I want to look into just yet. I’ve been in the NHL for five years and every year it seems like I’ve been in a 1A and 1B situation.”

It might seem unorthodox for a veteran to ink a tryout deal in the minors, but this could be a good situation for Ellis in the long run.

Carolina’s organizational goaltending depth behind Cam Ward is shallow (Brian Boucher could be out ’til December, Peters and Muse aren’t exactly elite prospects) and the AHL promises to be a strong circuit this year, especially with all the NHL regulars dispatched due to the work stoppage.