Hurricanes acquire Bergeron from Lightning

calexander@newsobserver.comApril 3, 2013 

— The Carolina Hurricanes made one trade Tuesday, obtaining veteran defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

General manager Jim Rutherford isn’t ruling out more moves before the NHL trade deadline, Wednesday at 3 p.m., but said the Canes may not be very busy.

“Strange things happen and it’s always hard to predict,” Rutherford said Tuesday. “But unless something out of the ordinary happens I think we could have a quiet day.”

Bergeron, 32, has almost 500 games of NHL experience – regular-season and playoffs – and will be playing for his eighth NHL team.

The Canes traded forward Adam Hall and a seventh-round draft pick to the Lightning in exchange for Bergeron. Carolina claimed Hall on waivers from the Lightning on March 16.

Bergeron played for the Montreal Canadiens in the 2009-2010 season, when Canes coach Kirk Muller was an assistant coach for the Habs. Bergeron had 13 goals and 34 points in the regular season and then competed in 19 playoff games.

“We’re bringing him in (to help) with special teams, the power play,” Muller said. “He has enough hockey sense that he should be able to jump in and feel comfortable with what we ask him to do. Basically he shoots the puck. He’s a shooter and he’s got a cannon.”

The Hurricanes need help on the power play – Carolina was last in the NHL at 12.7 percent entering Tuesday’s game against Washington. The Canes were scoreless on all five power plays Monday in a 4-1 road loss to the Canadiens.

“It’s obvious to everyone we need to do better on the power play,” Rutherford said. “Bergeron had shown over his career than he can help a power play.”

Bergeron is one of four veteran defensemen who have been traded in the past few days as teams scramble to bolster the blue line. The St. Louis Blues have been the most active, bringing in Jay Bouwmeester from the Calgary Flames and Jordon Leopold from the Buffalo Sabres.

The biggest news Tuesday was Dallas trading forward Jaromir Jagr to the Boston Bruins for a conditional 2013 second-round draft pick and forwards Cody Payne and Lane MacDermid.

There have been rumblings about the Canes possibly looking to add a goaltender, looking to move a defenseman. But Rutherford said the Canes’ biggest priority was “to be a healthy team again.”

Carolina is playing without No. 1 goalie Cam Ward (knee sprain), defensemen Justin Faulk (knee sprain) and forward Tuomo Ruutu (lower-body injury.) Defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti, who had missed the past four games with an upper-body injury, was activated Tuesday from injured reserve.

Rutherford said Faulk and Ruutu should return to the lineup soon. Asked if the Canes still were looking to add a defenseman, he said, “We can’t make a trade that would help us more than getting Justin (Faulk) back.”

The addition of Bergeron and the return of Sanguinetti and soon Faulk will mean a glut of defensemen for the Hurricanes. Which, in turn, only adds intrigue to what the Canes may – or may not – decide to do on the trade deadline.

Alexander: 919-829-8945

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