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by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

DesRochers, Malec Reassigned; Brendl to Undergo Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

RALEIGH, N.C. – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the defending Eastern Conference champion Carolina Hurricanes, announced today that the team has recalled goaltender Arturs Irbe, center Mike Zigomanis, left wing Tomas Kurka and defenseman Bruno St. Jacques from Lowell of the American Hockey League. The team also reassigned goaltender Patrick DesRochers and defenseman Tomas Malec to Lowell and placed right wing Jesse Boulerice and left wing Jaroslav Svoboda on injured reserve. Right wing Pavel Brendl will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday, but has not been placed on injured reserve.

Irbe (5’ 8”, 190 lbs.) was reassigned to Lowell on Feb. 13 and has played five games with the Hurricanes’ top minor-league affiliate recording a 2-2-1 record and a 3.32 goals-against average. In 27 games with Carolina this season, Irbe, 36, is 7-17-2 with a 3.06 goals-against average. The franchise’s all-time leader in games played, wins and shutouts, Irbe is 125-113-43 with a goals-against average of 2.47 and 20 shutouts in 292 career games with the Hurricanes. In 551 career NHL games with San Jose, Dallas, Vancouver and the Hurricanes, Irbe is 213-227-78 with a goals-against average of 2.83. He ranks second in NHL history among European-born goaltenders in wins behind Dominik Hasek (288).

Zigomanis (6’ 1”, 200 lbs.) was selected by Carolina in the second round, 46th overall, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft and has yet to play an NHL game. He ranks third among Lock Monsters scorers this season with 13 goals and 18 assists (31 points) in 38 games. The 21-year-old Newmarket, Ont., native turned professional prior to the 2001-02 season and had 18 goals and 30 assists (48 points) in 79 games with Lowell last year. Buffalo originally drafted Zigomanis 64th overall in 1999, but failed to come to terms with him within two years, allowing Zigomanis to re-enter the draft in 2001. In four seasons with Kingston of the Ontario Hockey League prior to turning professional, Zigomanis scored 132 goals and earned 198 assists (330 points) in 240 regular-season games.

Kurka (5’ 11”, 190 lbs.) was selected by Carolina in the second round, 32nd overall, in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, and has yet to play an NHL game. In 55 games with Lowell this season, Kurka, 21, has 13 goals and 11 assists (24 points) and ranks fifth on the team in scoring. A native of Most, Czech Republic, Kurka turned professional last season and had 13 goals and 15 assists (28 points) in 71 regular-season games with Lowell. He played two seasons with Plymouth of the OHL prior to turning professional and totaled 108 points (51 goals, 57 assists) in 111 regular-season games.

The Hurricanes acquired St. Jacques on Feb. 7 from Philadelphia in the trade that also brought Brendl to Carolina. St. Jacques (6’ 2”, 204 lbs.) has played in eight games with Lowell and has one goal, one assist (2 points) and eight penalty minutes since the trade. In 30 games with Philadelphia of the AHL, the Flyers’ top minor-league affiliate, St. Jacques had seven assists and 46 penalty minutes. The 22-year-old, Montreal, Que., native played in 13 games for the Flyers, including six this season prior to being acquired by Carolina.

The Hurricanes recalled DesRochers on Feb. 13 and he has served as back up to Kevin Weekes for six games. Carolina acquired DesRochers, 23, from Phoenix on Dec. 31 in exchange for goaltender Jean-Marc Pelletier. DesRochers (6’4’’, 205 lbs.) has played in nine career NHL games for Phoenix and has a career record of 1-5-1 with a goals-against average of 3.73. He played four games with the Coyotes this season and recorded a 0-3-0 record with a goals-against average of 3.77. The Penetanguishene, Ont., native played 14 games with Lowell prior to his Feb. 13 recall, compiling a record of 3-10-1 with a goals-against average of 2.69. He is a combined 5-14-2 with a goals-against average of 2.67 and a save percentage of .917 with Springfield and Lowell of the AHL this season. DesRochers has a career record of 58-73-15 in the AHL with a goals-against average of 3.08. Phoenix originally chose DesRochers in the first round, 14th overall, in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.

Malec (6’ 2”, 193 lbs.) was most recently recalled by Carolina on Feb. 4 and has played 25 games with the Hurricanes this season. The 20-year-old Skalica, Slovakia, native has earned two assists and totaled 28 penalty minutes with Carolina this year. In 28 games with Lowell, Malec has four assists and 48 penalty minutes along with one of the team’s top four plus-minus ratings. He played for the PlanetUSA squad in the AHL All-Star game on Feb. 3 before rejoining the Hurricanes. Carolina acquired Malec from Florida along with Bret Hedican and Kevyn Adams on Jan. 16, 2002. The Panthers selected Malec in the third round, 64th overall, of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.

Brendl will undergo arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn cartilage in his right knee. Doug Martini, the Hurricanes’ team orthopedist, will perform the surgery Tuesday at Rex Hospital and Brendl is expected to miss three to six weeks.

The Hurricanes depart Tuesday for a three-game road swing that begins in Phoenix on Wednesday night. Following road games against Toronto and Washington, Carolina will return to RBC Center on Tuesday, March 4 to face the Boston Bruins. Tickets for that game and all Hurricanes games are available via the team’s official website,, the Dodge Box Office at RBC Center or by calling 919-834-4000.

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