Anton, come home -- all is forgiven.
After spending last season in Russia following his very public spat with the Canes during the 2006-07 season, Anton Babchuk is returning to Carolina.
The Canes signed the prodigal defenseman to a one-year, $1 million contract to help fill out a defensive group that's a little threadbare at the moment.
Babchuk gives the Canes five defensemen under contract, with restricted free agent Dennis Seidenberg likely to be the sixth.
They're still in the hunt for a legit No. 1 puck-moving defenseman to fill out that group, which remains the top item on Carolina's list.
UPDATE, 6:25 p.m.: Guess the Canes ended up crossing off the top item on their list, huh?
Here's what Rutherford had to say about Le Affaire Babchuk:
"I was disappointed in him, his teammates were, that’s something (going to the minors) he should have done. And because of that, we kind of went different ways and he went back to Russia last year. We didn’t totally forget about him. He’s still a young guy. But when we look at what we’re doing with our defense, and we look at what it costs to go out and get young defensemen, we’re saying, ‘Why not give this guy another chance?’ He had a good year in the Russian league. At times he played pretty good for us over here. Now he’s two years older, maybe this guy is going to step up and do what we think he can do at a very young age at 24. So we’ve made up.”