Trade: Hurricanes send Westgarth to Calgary for Nemisz

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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.