One of the parlor games of the Carolina Hurricanes’ postseason exploits has been the near-constant shuffle of reassignments and recalls for Patrick Brown and Jake Bean. Ever since Trevor van Riemsdyk and Saku Maenalanen went out injured, the two have been involved in a transaction nearly every day, recalled from Charlotte on an off day and then reassigned the instant the puck drops in a game.

What’s going on here?

It’s a combination of a couple of different esoteric roster rules, none of which really make a difference in practice but require forms to be followed. First, both Bean and Brown are being recalled on an emergency basis, which means the Hurricanes are unsure whether they will have the roster minimum of 12 forwards and 6 defensemen for the upcoming game. Generally, this hasn’t been an issue, but the Hurricanes want to be prepared if, say, Jordan Martinook can’t go.

Why the emergency designation? This goes back to the trade deadline. Remember those paper transactions that the Hurricanes made to send Warren Foegele and Maenalanen down at 3:00 to maintain their AHL playoff eligibility? They were immediately recalled, which ate up two of the Hurricanes’ allotted four post-deadline, non-emergency recalls. So a normal recall of Bean or Brown would take up the final two of those slots, and would make the Hurricanes ineligible to recall anyone from Charlotte for the rest of the playoffs - except, of course, as an emergency callup.

As a practical matter, players on an emergency recall are not allowed to be healthy scratches, because if they were, it would be a loophole in the rules governing exactly what role an emergency recall is allowed to fill. If (when) the Hurricanes have twelve skaters and six defensemen all healthy, which they’ve had since this whole song and dance began, they are required to send back any players who were up on an emergency recall.

Now, all this being said, Bean and Brown are not physically rejoining the Checkers every time they’re sent back. In fact, they’ve been in the press box with us watching despite the fact they technically aren’t on the active roster. It’s simply a paper transaction, but given the circumstances, you can expect to continue to see these sorts of tweets pretty much every day for the duration of the playoffs.