Ryan Murphy said he was preparing for practice with the Kitchener Rangers (OHL) when his coach, Steve Spott, said he needed to talk to him in his office.

"He said he had some bad news -- he told me I'd be missing the games this weekend," Murphy said today. "He played a little trick on me, but then he told me what was going on."

What was going on was that the Hurricanes were in need of a defenseman. Tim Gleason was on injured reserve, Joni Pitkanen not yet ready to return to the lineup and Jamie McBain now out with an upper-body injury that Canes coach Kirk Muller said today could keep McBain out a week or two.

Just like that, Murphy was an emergency callup and on his way from Ontario to Raleigh. Tonight, the former first-round draft pick will make his NHL debut against the Winnipeg Jets at PNC Arena.

"I've had some butterflies since I found out the news, but it's a good thing and I'm happy and I'm excited to play," Murphy said after today's morning skate at PNC Arena.

And his instructions from Muller and assistant coach Dave Lewis, who works with the defensemen?

"They just told me to play my own game," Murphy said. "To come out here and create some offense, play well defensively. They said it's a big shot for me. I just want to take advantage of this opportunity and hopefully all goes well.