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Press Release: HURRICANES, LIGHTNING SWAP MINOR LEAGUE DEFENSEMEN

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

KASPARS ASTASHENKO ACQUIRED FOR HARLAN PRATT

RALEIGH, NC (Dec. 28, 2001) - Jim Rutherford, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, announced today that the National Hockey League team has acquired minor league defenseman Kaspars Astashenko from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for minor league defenseman Harlan Pratt.

Astashenko, 26, has played 11 games for the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League this season with no goals, two assists and 15 penalty minutes. The 6-foot, 3-inch left-handed shot has 23 games of NHL experience with Tampa Bay, accumulating 1 goal, 2 assists and 8 penalty minutes in parts of the 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 seasons.

Astashenko has played 203 minor league games with 10 goals, 37 assists and 339 penalty minutes. A native of Riga, Latvia and Tampa Bay’s fifth round pick (127th overall) in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, Astashenko will be assigned to Carolina’s minor league affiliate, the Lowell Lock Monsters.

Pratt, 23, has split time this season between Lowell and Carolina’s East Coast Hockey League affiliate, the Florida Everblades. In 17 games with Lowell, Pratt had 1 goal, 6 assists and 6 penalty minutes. With Florida, Pratt had no goals, 7 assists and 4 penalty minutes in 13 games.

Pratt was originally a fifth-round pick (124th overall) of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. In 232 minor hockey games, Pratt has 15 goals, 100 assists and 125 penalty minutes. Carolina signed him as a free agent on Aug. 21, 2000.

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