The Carolina Hurricanes made the first step towards setting their opening night roster, placing forward Chris Terry on waivers for the purpose of assigning him to Charlotte.
The move, made at noon on Sunday, allows the Hurricanes to get closer to the NHL’s roster limit ahead of the following day’s deadline. Terry’s pending departure, whether it’s to Charlotte or another team that could claim him before noon on Monday, will leave the team at 24 players, one more than allowed by rule, though space could be created by putting any number of injured players on the injured reserve list. Conversely, the potential signing of free-agent tryout Radek Dvorak could serve to make things more crowded.
Outside of former Checker and star defenseman Justin Faulk, forward Elias Lindholm and defenseman Ryan Murphy are the only two players remaining on Carolina’s roster who would not require waivers to join Charlotte.
If Terry clears, the Checkers will have 24 players on their roster, including forward Stefan Della Rovere, who is with the team but has not yet made his expected signing official. With a breakdown of three goaltenders, seven defensemen and 14 forwards, all of whom are believed to be healthy, the Checkers could make their own cuts at each position by assigning players to the ECHL’s Florida Everblades in the coming days.
Unlike the NHL, which enforces a roster limit of 23 players, there is no limit to AHL rosters. However, the Checkers are likely carry a similar amount for practicality’s sake.
In addition to still needing to get under the roster limit, it’s possible that Carolina will make additional assignments to Charlotte at a later date, with a handful of players battling injuries suffered during the preseason. As of Sunday, centers Riley Nash and Brett Sutter and defenseman Brett Bellemore were the only players who finished last season on Charlotte’s roster that remain with the Hurricanes. Forward Nathan Gerbe and defenseman Matt Corrente were the only other players on two-way contracts.
In the wake of the overnight trade of Zac Dalpe and Jeremy Welsh to Vancouver in exchange for Kellan Tochkin and a fourth-round pick, Terry will provide much-needed skill to the Checkers’ lineup. The 24-year-old has ranked first (two times, including last season) or second on the Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate in scoring over his four professional seasons, which produced 230 points (92g, 138a) in 305 games. He is coming off of his best training camp to date, having lasted until the final days after finding himself behind players like Dalpe and Zach Boychuk in recent years. He successfully cleared waivers twice last season.