Brett Bellemore is returning to the Hurricanes organization. Given the nature of his contract, he could even be returning to the Checkers.
Carolina announced Friday evening that the unrestricted free agent defenseman has signed a one-year, two-way deal to return the organization he’s been with ever since the 2007 draft. The 26-year-old will make $600,000 at the NHL level and $175,000 in the AHL.
Whether Bellemore ends up cracking the Carolina roster or not, the Checkers are likely to benefit from the signing as the Hurricanes may have to make one more cut than previously planned. With 215 games played as a Checker between 2010-2013, Bellemore ranks second on the Checkers’ all-time list for defensemen behind Michal Jordan (267) and ahead of Rasmus Rissanen (188), who both re-signed as restricted free agents earlier this month. He is tied for fifth on the team’s all-time penalty minutes list with 221.
After waiting most of four full seasons as a professional to make his NHL debut, Bellemore made the jump to become a full-time Hurricane last season with 64 games played. Carolina drafted the 6-foot-4, 225-pound native of Windsor, Ontario, in the sixth round (162nd overall).