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Vasicek returning to Carolina Hurricanes

Feb. 9, 2007 at 2:39 PM

RALEIGH, N.C., Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Nashville Predators forward Josef Vasicek is returning to his old team, the Carolina Hurricanes, in exchange for Eric Belanger, the teams announced Friday.

Vasicek, 26, played for the Hurricanes for five seasons before being traded to Nashville last July for forward Scott Walker. He had four goals in 38 games with Nashville and will go back to playing center at Carolina, where the Czech Republic native had 59 goals and 71 assists in 316 regular-season games.

"We're obviously very familiar with Joe and the type of game he is capable of bringing to the Hurricanes," said Carolina General Manager Jim Rutherford. "Going back to his natural position of center, with his size and strength, will help our team down the stretch."

Belanger, a 29-year-old center, was acquired from Los Angeles in September and had eight goals and 12 assists in 56 games with Carolina.

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