Defenseman Ryan Murphy is rejoining the Checkers at a key time.
Hours before their AHL club was set to play its fourth-to-last game of the season with a string of positive results necessary to reclaim a playoff spot, the Carolina Hurricanes reassigned the offensive-minded blueliner to Charlotte. Provided the 21-year-old, first-round draft pick in 2011 can make it from Raleigh to Time Warner Cable Arena by 7 p.m., he should be available to face the defending Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins.
Murphy played three games for the Checkers at the end of March, posting one assist, before Carolina recalled him once again last Friday to play in each of its last two games. The return of Murphy, who set franchise records with assists and points in 12 consecutive AHL games earlier this season, gives the Checkers eight defensemen on the roster.
Now nearing the end of his first full professional season, Murphy has 19 points (1g, 18a) in 19 games with the Checkers this season. He also played two regular season games and five Calder Cup Playoff games last season, totaling four assists.