Fan favorite, CBA master, and Princeton grad/enforcer Kevin Westgarth was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes today for right winger Anthony Stewart, a fourth round draft pick in 2013, and a sixth round pick in 2014.
Robert outlined why he thought Westgarth should not stay as an extra foward last week -- note that after the trade deadline, Sutter didn't play him in a single game. However, the trade comes as no surprise to Carolina fans, whose GM has cited a need to protect his young players.
Here's what we know about Stewart.
#13 / Center / Carolina Hurricanes
Jan 05, 1985
|2011 - Anthony Stewart||77||9||11||20||-2||30||0||0||1||64||14.1%|
Stewart is a 28-year-old former first round draft pick who has bounced around the league. Though he has size and a bit of a scoring touch, he hasn't been able to drive play over the course of his career. His average shooting percentage is 8.8%; last year (14.1%) was a career high.
Corey Sznajder of the Shutdown Line had this to say about Stewart:
Stewart is a fourth liner who can't drive possession even with soft minutes. There was a good chance he could have been waived at the start of the year if one of the call-ups from Charlotte outperformed him in training camp.
Even in the bottom six, you want to see players who can generate shots and scoring chances instead of winding hemmed up in their own zone. Sutter values puck possession, and Stewart has never demonstrated strength there. Like Ethan Moreau, he will have to show more than an ability to hit if he's going to stay.
Analysis: The Kings had no pressing need for a depth right winger--in fact, they have a glut of forwards--and we don't know if Stewart will even earn a roster spot out of camp. Extra draft picks are always welcome.
On the flip side, Lombardi couldn't have found a more ideal place for Westgarth. Rutherford wanted to add an enforcer to his fourth line, so he will see more ice time than he did under Sutter. Westgarth also will be closer to family; he spent the offseason in Raleigh practicing with other Carolina players. Lombardi was able to reward his patience here.
We wish Westgarth all the best with his new team. Every Kings fan will be able to testify he's a class act through and through.
What do you think about the trade? Will Stewart earn a spot out of camp?