Update: Terry, who is tied for the AHL lead with seven game-winning goals, scored the winner in Carolina's 6-3 win over New Jersey on Saturday.
"It was a pretty special moment," Terry told media in Raleigh following the game. "It was kind of a blur for me after I scored - I didn't really know what to do - but it was definitely an exciting moment.
"Each year I've tried to work on something different (in Charlotte) while still maintaining good numbers and being a leader. I've just been trying to put it all together to be that call-up."
Video is below.
After four seasons of waiting patiently, Chris Terry is finally getting his chance.
For the first time in his career, the Checkers’ scoring leader is headed to Raleigh to join the Carolina Hurricanes after the team called him up on Friday. He could make his NHL debut as early as Saturday for the team’s home game against the New Jersey Devils.
Aside from simply paying his dues at the AHL level, including one year with the Albany River Rats and most of three with the Checkers, Terry’s recent play has earned him the opportunity. Despite the absence of several other high scorers around him, he has 30 points (13g, 17a) in his last 26 games dating back to Dec. 30, vaulting him firmly into first place on the team with 46 points in 55 outings. Opponents held him off the score sheet in just six of those games.
His point total ties him for 13th in the league, his 22 goals rank tied for ninth and his seven game-winning goals, all of which were important, are more than any other AHL player.
Since Terry’s first full professional season in Albany in 2009-10, the Hurricanes have recalled a forward on 59 separate occasions, not including invites to this year’s atypical mid-season training camp, which he did not attend. For the Checkers’ all-time leader in games played, goals, assists and points, 60 was the magic number.
Looking at comments made from both sides of the organization as his scoring surge hit new heights in recent weeks, his opportunity seemed to only be a matter of time.
“He’s done it year after year, but he’s getting better too,” said, Cory Stillman, the Hurricanes’ director of forward development, of Terry’s offensive output. “If he continues to play the way he is, I think his opportunity will come quite soon. If you produce like that for that long, eventually you get your shot.”
“Chris is very professional and he understands what he needs to do,” said coach Jeff Daniels. “It’s a process and it hasn’t been his time yet, but hopefully he’ll get it soon.”
While the Checkers will certainly miss Terry, a mainstay on both of their special teams units that rank among the best in the league, they received some help from Carolina earlier in the day. Brett Sutter and Jeremy Welsh, now the team’s top two active goal scorers with 13 and 11, respectively, rejoined the team after brief NHL stints.
The result of the day’s transactions give the Checkers exactly enough skaters to face the Houston Aeros for back-to-back games at Time Warner Cable Arena this weekend. The team’s four injured forwards with a chance of returning this season – Zac Dalpe, A.J. Jenks, Jerome Samson and Justin Shugg – did not take part in Friday’s practice and are thus unlikely to return this weekend.
Terry joins forwards Drayson Bowman, Riley Nash and Tim Wallace, defensemen Justin Faulk and Bobby Sanguinetti and goalies Dan Ellis and Justin Peters as players now with Carolina who begin the season with Charlotte.