Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 10/20/08 at 07:42 PM ET
After two games with the big team, the Hurricanes have decided to return their 2008 first round pick Zach Boychuk to his junior team. Since he played in less than nine NHL games, his contract hasn’t kicked in yet. He will return to the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League.
The 19-year old was second on Lethbridge last season with 72 (33/39) points and was tops with 21 (13/8) points in the WHL playoffs.
Boychuk is underage and ineligible for AHL play, and according to NHL rules, he can’t be brought back up this season. From today’s N&O:
The first year of his entry-level contract now rolls over to next season; the Canes cannot recall him or send him to Albany (AHL) until Lethbridge’s season ends.
Scott Walker, Tuomo Ruutu and Justin Williams are all still out of the lineup with injuries, and Boychuk’s departure leaves one fourth line wing position available…
The Hurricanes have several guys who could be called up from Albany. Of that lot, my sentimental favorite would be Tim Conboy, who is listed as a defenseman, but also played some fourth line wing for the Hurricanes last season.
Other likely candidates are Trevor Gillies, Joe Jensen, Pat Dwyer.
Yet another option would be to pull Josef Melichar off the “healthy scratch” list and dress seven defensemen.
My money’s on Conboy. He has only appeared in one game this season for the Rats, thanks to an eight game suspension that he received during last season’s playoffs for his participation in a line brawl versus Philadelphia. The first six games of the suspension were served in the playoffs and the final two this season. Here’s the video of that incident:
The Canes are off until Thursday, so they won’t have to make an immediate decision.
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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.