The Carolina Hurricanes made a trade on Sunday that will have a trickle-down effect on the Checkers.
With the new Collective Bargaining Agreement now allowing it to make such transactions, Charlotte’s parent club sent veteran goalie Brian Boucher and defensive prospect Mark Alt to Philadelphia in exchange for 23-year-old center Luke Pither. According to the team’s release, Pither has been assigned to Charlotte.
At the time of the trade, Pither (6-foot-0, 186 pounds) was playing in the ECHL with the Wheeling Nailers, where he had 22 points (9g, 13a) in 24 games. He had previously started the season with the Trenton Titans of the same league, where he had three assists in 11 games.
Pither, who was not drafted following a five-year junior career, does have 106 games of AHL experience with the Adirondack Phantoms. He spent the bulk of two consecutive seasons with the club from 2010-12, scoring 30 points (11g, 19a) in 106 games.
In 307 Ontario Hockey League games with Kingston, Guelph, Belleville and Barrie, Pither scored a total of 250 points (104g, 146a).
Aside from getting a new player, the trade would also seem to solidify the organization’s goaltending situation. Dan Ellis, who joined the Hurricanes for training camp and is expected to sign an NHL contract with the club prior to the start of the season, is now the only goalie in Carolina aside from the team’s No. 1 option, Cam Ward. Even if he were to falter and the Hurricanes decided to swap him with Charlotte’s Justin Peters, it looks unlikely that the Checkers’ goaltending tandem to start the season will be reunited at the AHL level anytime soon.
Moving further down the ladder, John Muse, who the Checkers recalled Saturday to replace Ellis, is seemingly back in Charlotte to stay. In 15 games with the Checkers last season, Muse posted a 1.81 goals-against average and .941 save percentage.