Hurricanes Ship Stewart to Kings for Westgarth.

The Carolina Hurricanes today announced they had acquired Kevin Westgarth from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for forward Anthony Stewart and two draft picks (fourth rounder in 2013, sixth rounder in 2014).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That seems an unusually high return for an enforcer like Westgarth, who played only 25 regular season games with the Kings last season and saw no action in the playoffs during their run to the Stanley Cup.  Stewart is a more serviceable checking line forward owned a pro-rated $900K cap hit for this season. Westgarth would earn a pro-rated $725K for this season, so perhaps this was as much a cost-cutting move as one to add some toughness to the Hurricanes forward lines.


  1. Westgarth is married to the daughter of former Steelers Coach Bill Cowher and they all live in Raleigh. He skated with the Hurricanes players all summer and during the lockout.

  2. His relationship to the state of Carolina aside, I imagine Westgarth’s role will be to make sure that Alexander Semin gets room to skate and that Jordan Staal, as well as Eric don’t need to drop the gloves and therefore can concentrate on doing what they are being paid to do.
    There is not a lot of toughness on the Carolina roster, not counting the Staal brothers, and they need someone to, as Don Cherry would say, enforce the code.

  3. Westy is a decent bottom 6 hockey player when he is asked to fill a productive role. Kid can pass and see the ice very well. He actually had some nice points in the post season couple years back when he was used as a skater and not an enforcer. He was well respected in LA.

    As an enforcer: Fearless, chases and annoys. Takes really dumb penalties at the wrong time. Team guy all the way. Great in locker room.

    As a skater: Grear tape-to-tape passes. Great vision of the ice and game. Westy actually knows how to play hockey. A tad slower than most would desire but compensates with hard work. Could use a skating coach to improve.

    Good luck Westy!

  4. carolina gave up too much for sure. one-for-one would have been a decent trade for both but to give up two picks (ok, so they aren’t great picks) is too much. i’d disagree with most of token’s assessment. he is a decent enforcer but won’t force the issue -even when it’s needed, and looks like an ahl at best when not dropping the gloves. he’s great guy in the room and has the meat to be a solid enforcer but can’t play a regular shift.

    good move by lombardi to move out an unneeded part for a couple of possible assets.

  5. Rutherford wanted to “clean up” his mistakes from the summer of ’11, the last piece remaining being Anthony Stewart. Rutherford, evidently, has been itching to acquire Wesgarth for awhile now. I’m guessing Lombardi wasn’t keen on moving him or look like he was moving Wesgarth he was a NHLPA negotiator (because folks will start goofy rumors like that). Rutherford gave Lombardi 3 assets to sweeten the pot. That was a lot of assuming on my part, but that is exactly what this deal looks like to me. Rutherford always gets what he wants, eventually, to a fault.

    • I forgot about Tim Brent, the only free agent Rutherford signed that worked out.