Sleeper Watch: Rutherford Expects to Sign Babchuk

Updated: June 4, 2010 at 4:52 pm by Alexander Monaghan

According to Chip Alexander of the News Observer, defenseman Anton Babchuk may be on his way back to the Carolina Hurricanes.  The former 21st overall and Chicago Blackhawk last skated in the NHL in the 2008-2009 season where he officially broke out with a 16 goal campaign.  This campaign of course came sandwiched between two years in Avangard Omsk.

Rutherford said he is optimistic the Hurricanes will reach an agreement with Babchuk that would being [bring] him back to the NHL.

Last season the Canes struggled to find offense from their blue line outside of minute-eater Joni Pitkanen.  Their main offensive threat, Joe Corvo, struggled with injuries and inconsistency before getting shipped off to Washington for Oskar Osala, Brian Pothier and a 2nd round pick.

Pothier as well as rookie Jamie McBain handled offensive duties favorably but neither possess the same blistering shot of Babchuk.  The former most likely not go back to the Hurricanes and test the waters in free agency leaving a hole on the back end.

McBain and Babchuk would be a deadly combination firing from the points on the powerplay, keep an eye on him if he signs as the Hurricanes still possess a similar roster to two years ago.

Anton Babchuk, Avangard Omsk, Brian Pothier, Carolina Hurricanes, Jamie McBain, Joe Corvo, Joni Pitkanen, Oskar Osala, Washington Capitals