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by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes
Czech centerman returns to Carolina in exchange for Eric Belanger


RALEIGH, NC—Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has re-acquired center Josef Vasicek (YOH-zehf VAHSH-ih-chehk) from the Nashville Predators in exchange for center Eric Belanger (beh-LAWN-zhay).

“We’re obviously very familiar with Joe and the type of game he is capable of bringing to the Hurricanes,” said Rutherford. “Going back to his natural position of center, with his size and strength, will help our team down the stretch.”

Prior to joining Nashville, Vasicek, 26, played five seasons with the Hurricanes, recording 55 goals and 71 assists (126 points) in 316 regular-season games, and he hoisted the Stanley Cup with the team last June. The Hurricanes traded the Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic, native to Nashville in exchange for right wing Scott Walker on July 18, 2006. Vasicek has played in 38 games with the Predators this season, recording four goals and nine assists (13 points). Carolina originally drafted Vasicek (6’5”, 214 lbs.) in the fourth round, 91st overall, in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.

The Hurricanes acquired Belanger from Los Angeles on Sept. 29, 2006, along with defenseman Tim Gleason, in exchange for defensemen Oleg Tverdovsky and Jack Johnson. Belanger, 29, had eight goals and 12 assists in 56 games with Carolina.

The Carolina Hurricanes will wrap up a three-game road trip on Saturday against the Minnesota Wild (8 p.m., FSN South, Hurricanes Radio Network) before opening a two-game home stand against Los Angeles on Tuesday (7 p.m., Hurricanes Radio Network). Tickets for all Hurricanes home games are available at the RBC Center box office, all TicketMaster locations, by calling 919-834-4000 or via For information on Hurricanes ticket packages, please call 1-866-NHL-CANES or visit

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