Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Irbe spent six seasons in Carolina
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Arturs Irbe was traded by the Carolina
Hurricanes to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday, ending the
goalies' up and down six-year stint with the team.
The Hurricanes swapped one of the heroes of their unexpected run
to the 2002 Stanley Cup finals for future considerations.
Irbe leaves as the franchise's career leader with 130 wins and
"He's looking forward to a new opportunity," said Paul
Theofanus, Irbe's agent. "Clearly he was very happy and enjoyed
his time with the Hurricanes, and his only lament is that they
didn't win the Cup that year."
Irbe, a native of Latvia and a former Olympian, was 10-8 in the
2002 playoffs when the Hurricanes lost to Detroit in the Stanley
But Kevin Weekes became the starter the next season, and Irbe
split time between the minors and Carolina.
Irbe went 7-24-2 with a 3.18 goals-against-average for Carolina
In February, the Hurricanes brought Irbe back from the minors to
be a back up.
He had been in the low minors after refusing a $1.8 million
buyout of his two-year, $5.2 million contract. Irbe went 5-2-1 with
a 2.45 goals-against average in 10 games with Carolina last season.
"We thank Archie for his good years with the Hurricanes,"
Carolina president and general manager Jim Rutherford said in a
news release. "I'm happy that we could accommodate giving him an
opportunity to play in the NHL in the future."
Doug MacLean, president and general manager of the Blue Jackets,
said Irbe's experience would be a good fit for Columbus.
"We felt this was a good opportunity for us to add a proven
veteran to our mix at that position," MacLean said in a release.