Kevin Westgarth – What to Expect in Carolina

Kevin Westgarth
(Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports)

A player that helped save the season is now looking to help the Hurricanes become a power in the Eastern Conference this season.

On Sunday, the Los Angeles Kings traded Kevin Westgarth to the Hurricanes in exchange for forward Anthony Stewart, a fourth-round pick in the 2013 NHL draft, and a sixth-round pick in the 2014 draft.

Westgarth, who only played 25 games last year for the Kings, was more known for his involvement in labor negotiations rather than his performance. Hurricanes fans can expect Westgarth to be a definite factor in this shortened-season.

The 6’ 4” forward will offer the Kings a new and assertive look to the team. With the absence of Bryan Allen who signed with the Anaheim Ducks over the summer and the additions of offensive powers  Jordan Staal and Alexander Semin, Carolina needed a new enforcer. Westgarth will completely fill this role for the Hurricanes. He had 15 fights in the 25 games he played last year and offers an intimidation factor that Carolina has not had for years.

“We were looking for a character, team guy who can play a gritty role for our team,” general manager Jim Rutherford said. “Kevin is a good addition to fill that spot.”

Plus, having been involved directly in the frustration of the collective bargaining negotiations, one can only predict that Westgarth is more than ready to play. He could play a key role this year in trying to rebuild a team in a playoff drought.

There is no reason to be anything but optimistic.