WILL BEGIN SECOND STINT WITH TEAM AFTER BECOMING FREE AGENT
RALEIGH, N.C. (Aug. 5, 2002) – Jason Karmanos, Vice President and Assistant General Manager of the 2002 Eastern Conference champion Carolina Hurricanes, announced today the team has signed free agent defenseman Steve Halko.
This will be Halko’s second stint with Carolina. The Hurricanes traded Halko and a fourth round pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft to the St. Louis Blues on Dec. 5, 2001 for defenseman Sean Hill. St. Louis bought out Halko’s contract after last season, and the 28-year-old became a free agent.
“We’re real happy to get Steve back,” Karmanos said. “He’s a known quantity to us. He has NHL experience. This move gives us more depth on defense.”
Halko was a 10th-round draft pick (225th overall) of the Hartford Whalers in 1992. Last season, Halko played in five games with Carolina, registering one assist. He was a healthy scratch in 18 consecutive games, and 26 overall last season for the Hurricanes, before his trade to St. Louis.
Halko was sent to the Worcester IceCats of the American Hockey League by the Blues on Dec. 13, 2001 for conditioning after he was scratched for three games, and was recalled on Dec. 17. He did not dress for six games and was eventually assigned to Worcester for the rest of the season on Jan. 1, 2002. In 43 games for the IceCats, Halko had three goals, five assists and 15 penalty minutes. He had one assist in three playoff games for Worcester.
In five NHL seasons, Halko has no goals, 15 assists and 71 penalty minutes in 149 games. In 220 AHL games, Halko has 7 goals, 36 assists and 154 penalty minutes.