Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 10/13/11 at 08:42 PM ET
On Thursday, the Hurricanes decided to return defenseman Ryan Murphy to the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League. The 2011 first round draft selection survived the final round of roster cuts, and was a healthy scratch in all four Hurricanes games so far.
Because Murphy is just 18 years old, and non-European, and did not play collegiate hockey, he isn’t eligible to play at the American League level, so Charlotte wasn’t an option. Because he played in less than ten games (he didn’t play in any games), he can be returned to Kitchener and the meter doesn’t start running on his professional contract until next season.
Carolina is now down to a roster of 22, which is where they usually are. I don’t think they’re done adjusting the roster, though. At least I hope not.
As well as he’s played, I’d still like to see the Hurricanes send rookie defenseman Justin Faulk back to Charlotte. This would afford Derek Joslin, who is on a one-way contract, some playing time. Instead of two extra defense, I’d like to see the Canes carry Joslin and one of the forwards from Charlotte.
Jon Matsumoto, who has NHL experience, is tearing it up down in Charlotte. After just two games, he already has six (2/4) points. Drayson Bowman and Jerome Samson each have two goals so far, but I don’t like either one of them at the NHL level. Zach Boychuk has a goal and an assist, and will see some time on the big team at some point this season. Riley Nash, who was the last man cut from camp, hasn’t done anything in two games to get in the stats ledger for Charlotte. I can guess that one of these five will be recalled at some point if and when Faulk is sent to Charlotte, but I can’t guess which one.
Hurricanes front office and coach Paul Maurice have sung Murphy’s praises ever since the draft. They’re continuing to say that he’s ahead of the learning curve, but just not quite ready to make the jump. They like his skill set, and they love his work ethic, but they know that he still needs to develop a bit more. Maurice was quoted:
He needs to get stronger and faster and that’s just due to his age. His work ethic and his conditioning are good. There’s not huge holes there.
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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.