For a few Checkers players, the long journey back East will continue.
With the team back in North Carolina following a successful two-win trip to Abbotsford, Zac Dalpe and Marc-Andre Gragnani are moving on to Washington, where the Hurricanes are set to play the Capitals on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Carolina has reassigned Michal Jordan and Andreas Nodl to Charlotte.
Dalpe goes back to Carolina after a seven-game stint with the Checkers, while Gragnani, who spent all of last season in the NHL with Buffalo and Vancouver, joins the Hurricanes for the first time. Both should be available to face Washington, while the Checkers are off until making a single-game trip to Norfolk on Friday.
Jordan comes back to Charlotte after playing his first five NHL games with Carolina, where he posted two penalty minutes and a minus-2 rating. With Gragnani going the other way, the recent AHL All-Star becomes the Checkers’ active leader among defensemen with 15 points, seven of which have come in his last 12 games.
Nodl is making his second trip to Charlotte, where he scored four points (1g, 3a) in five games after clearing waivers in January. The 25-year-old veteran of 183 NHL games who had spent the entirety of the previous two seasons with Carolina and Philadelphia has one assist in eight Hurricanes games this season.
Dalpe, who started the NHL season with Carolina before coming back to Charlotte on Feb. 3, will be hoping to make this stay permanent. Upon his last reassignment, the 23-year-old forward, who recorded two assists in six games with Carolina, picked up where he left off in terms of producing at a high level in the AHL, scoring eight points (5g, 3a) and three game-winning goals in seven games. That includes a dominant performance on Friday in which he tied a franchise record with four points (2g, 2a) and set a new franchise mark by scoring two shorthanded goals in the same game.
In his last 12 AHL games dating back to Jan. 4, Dalpe has 17 points (10g, 7a), pulling him into second on the Checkers with 18 goals and 36 points.
Gragnani, 25, is set for his Carolina debut and first NHL game since April of last season. The 2010 Eddie Shore Award winner as the AHL’s top defenseman leads the team and is tied for third in the AHL with 16 power-play assists despite missing 21 games this season due to injury and illness. He has five assists in his last five games, including four on the power play.
The Hurricanes are scheduled to play two games – in Washington Tuesday and at home to Pittsburgh on Thursday – before the Checkers return to action in Norfolk.