James Wisniewski

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Hurricanes buy out Wisniewski, who played 47 seconds for Carolina last season

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James Wisniewski played all of 47 seconds for the Carolina Hurricanes last season, before tearing his ACL in the first period of his debut — an injury that required surgery and ended his 2015-16 season.

On Thursday, the Hurricanes bought out the final year of his six-year contract, which had a cap hit of $5.5 million. He’ll now enter free agency on Friday.

The Hurricanes initially acquired the now 32-year-old Wisniewski, a veteran defenseman with 552 regular season games of experience and 274 career points, from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for goalie Anton Khudobin a year ago.

The Ducks previously acquired Wisniewski from Columbus at the 2015 trade deadline. He played 13 regular season games with Anaheim, with five assists, but didn’t play in the post-season.

You Can Play Project ‘reaching out to the NHL’ after Shaw incident

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The You Can Play Project has stated its intention to reach out to the National Hockey League after Chicago forward Andrew Shaw appeared to use a homophobic slur during Game 4 versus St. Louis.

The You Can Play Project launched in 2012 with the purpose of ensuring equality and respect for all athletes and that they should be judged on talent and work ethic, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, according to its website.

One of its founding members, Patrick Burke, now works in the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.

The alleged incident occurred late in the third period of Chicago’s loss to St. Louis, as Shaw was in the penalty box.

The league is looking into it, and Shaw could face discipline, reports the Chicago Tribune.

“I mean, emotions are high, I really don’t know what’s said,” Shaw also told the Chicago Tribune. “I was obviously upset with the call being that late in the game (as) it doesn’t give us a chance to tie it up.”

There have been numerous incidents of obscene comments or gestures made by NHL players in the past.

Former NHLer Sean Avery, while playing for the New York Rangers, said in 2011 that Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds called him a homophobic slur during a pre-season game, as per ESPN.

In 2010, James Wisniewski was suspended two games after making an obscene gesture toward Avery.

‘Not an easy situation’ in Anaheim, says Khudobin

In reading the headline above, you might think Anton Khudobin was talking about his team’s well-documented struggles.

But he’s not. He’s talking about his own.

Khudobin, acquired at the draft to be Anaheim’s backup netminder this year, has been bumped down to third string after John Gibson usurped Frederik Andersen as the team’s No. 1. That means Khudobin’s now spending a fair bit of time with AHL San Diego — not the ideal spot for a 29-year-old veteran making $2.25 million this season.

“It’s not an easy situation to be in,” Khudobin said, per the O.C. Register.

Given where he was just two seasons ago, Khudobin’s probably surprised where he’s at.

After a good cameo as Tuukka Rask‘s backup in Boston during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign, Khudobin signed in Carolina on the cheap ($800,000) and emerged as one of the NHL’s best bargains, going 19-14-1 with a .926 save percentage and 2.30 GAA.

That performance netted him a two-year, $4.5M extension from the ‘Canes — a pretty nice raise — but that’s when things started to go south.

Khudobin struggled in his first year of the extension and, as mentioned, was flipped to Anaheim at the draft in exchange for James Wisniewski. With his contract set to expire at season’s end, the plan — as laid out by Ducks GM Bob Murray — was for Khudobin to back up for a year, allowing Gibson further seasoning in the American League.

But, obviously, it’s worked out much differently.

“It’s a hard situation,” Khudobin said. “In that case, somebody has to go. In my mind, if they’re going to find me a place where I can go and play and be on an NHL team, it’s great.

“If not, then I just have to wait until the end of the season.”

Report: Ducks solve three-goalie problem by waiving Khudobin

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The crowded crease in Anaheim is no longer.

On Monday, TSN reported the Ducks waived veteran goalie Anton Khudobin, ending the uncomfortable situation of having three netminders — Khudobin, John Gibson and Frederik Andersen — on the active roster.

Khudobin, acquired from Carolina at the draft for James Wisniewski, was supposed to be a one-year stopgap solution as Andersen’s backup, while Gibson got extensive playing time in the American League.

But things didn’t go to plan.

The Ducks have struggled mightily this season and, while neither Khudobin nor Andersen were to blame, Gibson has gone 4-3-1 with a 1.74 GAA and .934 save percentage since his recall.

For a team desperate for wins, those numbers are too hard to ignore — hence the decision to keep Gibson at the NHL level, and send Khudobin to AHL San Diego.

Assuming he clears, that is.

The 29-year-old doesn’t have an ideal cap hit — $2.25 million — but he does come off the books at the end of this season, and has played OK at times. His numbers on the season are pedestrian (3-3-0, 2.70 GAA, .908 save percentage) but he has won three of his last five starts for the club, and posted a pair of shutouts.

Whatever the case, it’s clear Anaheim has decided its two goalies moving forward are Gibson and Andersen.

Which now brings up another intriguing query: Who’s No. 1?

Tryouts: Kennedy with Devils; Gleason with ‘Canes

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The New Jersey Devils have invited forward Tyler Kennedy to join them on a professional tryout.

From The Record:

Kennedy, 29, attended training camp with the Devils on a tryout before having to leave the team to deal with a personal family matter. The Devils were leaning toward signing him before that, but, with him unavailable to start the season, eventually released him from his tryout agreement.

Kennedy had a history with Devils general manager Ray Shero, having played for him in Pittsburgh. He last played in the NHL last season with the Islanders.

Meanwhile, in Carolina, defenseman Tim Gleason has joined the Hurricanes on a tryout basis.

According to the News & Observer, Gleason will practice with the team this week. Carolina’s next game is Friday at home against Toronto. The Hurricanes have lost a couple of d-men to injury: James Wisniewski (torn MCL) and Ryan Murphy (concussion).

Gleason, 32, started last season with Carolina before he was traded to Washington in February.