NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -The Nashville Predators swapped centers Friday with the Carolina Hurricanes, sending back Josef Vasicek for Eric Belanger.
In July, the Predators traded Scott Walker to Carolina to get Vasicek, adding size at center behind Jason Arnott. But the 26-year-old Vasicek had only 13 points in 38 games and was having trouble working his way onto the ice.
Belanger, 29, has 20 points in 56 games this season, with 8 goals and 12 assists. He also ranks second on the Hurricanes in winning face-offs with a 53.4 percent rate, which is something the Predators wanted to improve.
The 6-foot, 195-pound center, sent to Carolina in trade during training camp, spent his first five NHL seasons with Los Angeles and had career highs in goals (17), assists (20) and points (37) last season.