Canes' Rutherford explains placing Stewart on waivers

calexander@newsobserver.comFebruary 6, 2012 

The Canes on Monday placed forward Anthony Stewart on waivers, general manager Jim Rutherford said after the team arrived in Anaheim.

"With us getting a look at some guys who have been called up from Charlotte (AHL) and have played well for us, we decided to put Anthony on waivers," Rutherford said. "If he is picked up by another team, it will give another opportunity to one or two players who have played well."

NHL teams have until noon Tuesday to claim Stewart from waivers. Rutherford said if Stewart clears waivers he will play Wednesday against the Anaheim Ducks.

Canes coach Kirk Muller has used Stewart primarily on the fourth line, but occasionally has used him on other lines and on the power play.

"Anthony has played pretty well for us," Rutherford said. "But part of this is (Muller) wanting guys who he thinks is a good fit, on certain lines and in certain areas. That's something that played a part in it."

Forwards Jerome Samson, Zac Dalpe, Riley Nash and Drayson Bowman have been recalled from the Charlotte Checkers in the past month and given a chance to play for the Canes. Bowman is with the team on the three-game road trip and has been slotted onto Jeff Skinner's line opposite Jussi Jokinen.

"It's a case of some guys have played real well in Charlotte and opening up an opportunity for them," Rutherford said.

Stewart was signed to a free-agent contract in July by Carolina after the Winnipeg Jets did not make him a qualifying offer. The two-year deal pays him $800,000 this season and $1 million next season.

In 50 games for the Canes, Stewart has six goals and seven assists, and has been used primarily on the fourth line by coach Kirk Muller. Stewart's plus-4 rating is the best on the team.

Alexander: 919-829-8945

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