January 30, 2012 11:12 AM
As they resume play following the NHL All-Star break, the Hurricanes have recalled center Riley Nash from Charlotte.
This marks the second NHL recall for Nash, who made his Hurricanes debut during a two-game stint just prior to Christmas. He recorded an assist in his second game, a 2-1 overtime win over Ottawa on Dec. 23.
The move comes as a reward for a recent run of strong play, as Nash has posted 6 points (3g, 3a) in five games since the trade of Jon Matsumoto and an earlier recall of Zac Dalpe elevated him to the Checkers’ No. 1 center position. Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford took note of Nash’s strong play in an interview with Checkers broadcaster Jason Shaya during the team’s most recent game, in which Nash recorded an assist.
The recall leaves the Checkers with 12 forwards on the roster who were available for the team's last game, with Dalpe the only potential injury concern from that group. Dalpe left Friday’s game after a boarding incident involving Rockford’s Ben Youds in the second period and did not return, with coach Jeff Daniels expressing uncertainty about his status moving forward.
“It's too early to tell right now,” said Daniels following Friday’s game. “I think he should be fine, but I can't really give you an answer to that right now.”
The Checkers also have injured forwards Chris Durno and Justin Shugg on the roster, with Shugg the more likely of the two to be available for the team's upcoming road trip through Oklahoma City and Texas that begins Friday.
In between his two recalls, Nash suffered a lower-body injury that may have prevented him from rejoining the Hurricanes even earlier. The 2007 first-round draft choice of the Edmonton Oilers missed five games from Jan. 7-17, going scoreless in his first game back before embarking on his current scoring run.
Nash fills an open spot at forward created by the January trade of Alexei Ponikarovsky that had been occupied by Dalpe prior to the break. That makes the length of this recall uncertain, as he is not filling in for an injured veteran with an approximate return date in sight.