Thrashers recall Crabb, return Sterling, Machacek to Wolves

chi_200.jpgThe Atlanta Thrashers have reassigned left wing Brett Sterling and right wing Spencer Machacek to the Chicago Wolves. In addition, Atlanta has recalled right wing Joey Crabb from Chicago.

Machacek made his National Hockey League debut in two outings with the Thrashers this week, after being recalled from the Wolves on Monday. The 20-year-old forward, who racked up four points (G, 3A) in two matchups with Chicago last weekend, ranks second on Chicago with 20 goals and 42 points – which is tied for 12th among American Hockey League rookies – in 66 matchups during his professional debut this season. He also leads the Wolves and ranks first among league rookies with 11 power-play goals, and shares fourth on the team with a +12 plus/minus rating this season.

Sterling logged two penalty minutes in three games with the Thrashers after he was recalled from Chicago on March 14. The 24-year-old forward has appeared in six games with Atlanta this season, collecting one goal, and has notched four points (2G, 2A) in 19 contests with Atlanta during parts of two seasons (2007-2008).

The Los Angeles native shares third on the Wolves with 16 goals and shares fourth with 31 points, despite appearing in just 41 of the team’s 69 games this year.

Crabb made his NHL debut in 26 games with the Thrashers during a prior recall this season from Nov. 21, 2008 to Jan. 30, 2009. The 25-year-old forward recorded seven points (3G, 4A) – which includes his first NHL goal against the New York Rangers on Dec. 10 – and 28 penalty minutes in his first NHL action. The Anchorage, Alaska, native has posted 14 goals, 27 points and a +13 plus/minus rating in 38 outings with the Wolves this year.

Sterling and Machacek will join the Wolves when they take on the AHL-leading Manitoba Moose at the Allstate Arena on Friday at 7:30 p.m.