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Red and Black Hockey

Canes sign “gritty” forward for Albany

On Wednesday, the Hurricanes announced that they’re working hard on getting Ruutu re-signed for “two or three years”.  Not many details are available about terms, but it’s clear that the team wants to avoid the whole arbitration process.  Also, Jim Rutherford added that the Canes were going to sign a free agent or two very soon. 

Indeed, the Hurricanes signed a free agent today, but he’ll have little if anything to do with the big club.  25-year old right wing Steven Goertzen was signed to a one-year two-way contract.  He’ll make the league minimum of $500k if he plays in Raleigh, but the most likely scenario is that he’ll make $100k to play up in Albany.  The 6’2” 216 pound Alberta native has played in 62 NHL contests and has scored four (2/2) points.  All points came in a sixteen game stint with the Coyotes in 2008-09.

While some people around here are taking very short, panicked breaths about this, thinking that he’s meant to be a top nine player in Raleigh, the reality is that he will see very little time in the RBC Center.  If any.

Canes Vice President/Assistant GM Jason Karmanos described him as a “gritty” guy whose role will be to bring some size and toughness to the Albany River Rats.  Like the Hurricanes, the Rats are made up of guys who are skilled, but who aren’t tall enough to ride the roller coasters at Six Flags.

It sounds a little bit like a guy trying to convince a buddy to go out with his cousin.  What’s missing from Karmanos’ assessment of Goertzen, and a couple of other assessments is any description of skill.  He’s big, he’s “gritty”, he apparently likes to dirty his hands, but from what I’ve seen on the youtubes, he’s not a good fighter.  The Rats already have one Tim Conboy, and I’m not sure why they need another. 

Unless they’re planning on trading Conboy as part of a package that would yeild a top four defenseman in return.  I’m just thinking out loud here.

The Hurricanes also announced two other Albany-related deals.  Defenseman Casey Borer and goaltender Justin Peters were each re-signed to identical one year two-way deals.  They will each make $500k at the NHL level or $60K at Albany.  Peters will not be expected to make any appearances in Raleigh until Michael Leighton’s contract expires next summer. 

Borer has already and will most likely make sporadic appearances in the Hurricanes’ lineup.  He has three (1/2) points in 14 career NHL games and 29 (10/19) points in 113 AHL games.  In February, the Rats were involved in a scary bus crash that injured five people and demolished most of their gear.  Borer’s injury was the most serious.  He suffered a broken vertebrae, which ended his season.  Specifically, it was a C-5 fracture.  Erik Cole and Patrick Eaves have both suffered fractured c-5.  It’s probably safe to assume that there is no other NHL team with three players who have a history of c-5 fracture. 

Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: albany+river+rats, carolina+hurricanes

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About Red and Black Hockey

David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science.  He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows.  Sometimes, all in the same day. 

David has contributed to CBC.ca for their Stanley Cup playoff coverage in 2006 and to the New York Times Slapshot blog for theirs in 2008. Red and Black Hockey was founded in July of 2005.