The Carolina Hurricanes’ first round of training camp cuts didn’t result in any players officially joining the Checkers to start the season, but it did answer a few lingering questions.
The cuts, which mostly reassigned recent draft picks and junior-aged players to their respective clubs in the Canadian Hockey League, also included assignments for forwards Mattias Lindstrom and Victor Rask, each of which had an outside chance of playing for the Checkers this season.
Lindstrom, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound left wing selected in the third round of the 2009 Entry Draft, will be going back to his native Sweden. Though always bound by the final year of his contract with Skelleftea, there was a chance that his club team, which used him sparingly at the elite level last season, could allow him to stay in North America. Lindstrom, who missed nearly all of the 2009-10 season with a knee injury, will be looking to get more experience under his belt before crossing over to North America next season to begin the three-year contract he signed with the Hurricanes this past June.
Unlike Lindstrom, Rask, the Hurricanes’ second-round choice this summer, will be leaving Sweden to play in North America, though it will not be with the Checkers. Shortly after his selection in the NHL draft, Rask’s Canadian Hockey League rights were obtained by the Western Hockey League’s Calgary Hitmen, where he will suit up this season. Though eligible to play in the AHL this season as a European-based draft pick, Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford has said that he would prefer Rask to get more playing time at the junior level.
Update: The Hurricanes made their first AHL assignments Thursday morning, sending defensemen Brett Bellemore, Kyle Lawson and Chris Murray, forwards Matt Pistilli and Justin Soryal and goaltender Justin Muse to Charlotte. Checkers camp begins Monday at Xtreme Ice Center in Indian Trail.