One of the top remaining free agents is now off the board as the Carolina Hurricanes have signed veteran forward Paul Stastny to a one-year contract.
The Carolina Hurricanes have solidified their forward group by signing Paul Stastny to a $1.5 million deal, instantly providing them with a strong two-way center that still has plenty to offer despite his advanced age.
Stastny has had a long career in the NHL after being selected in the second round (44th overall) of the 2005 Draft by the Colorado Avalanche, making 1,072 regular season appearances, scoring 284 goals and totaling 800 points while enjoying spells with the St. Louis Blues, Vegas Golden Knights and Winnipeg Jets.
At the age of 36, Stastny joins the Hurricanes off the back of an impressive season where he scored 21 goals, and had 45 total points in 71 games, all while averaging 17:47 while on the ice and having impressive success in the faceoff circle with 56.6% of draws going his way.
What signing Paul Stastny means for the Carolina Hurricanes
The Hurricanes have a strong roster that has already shown it can compete with most teams in the NHL, finishing first in their division the past two seasons, and adding Stastny gives them value both on and off the ice.
He has been a solid two-way forward throughout his entire career and solidifies the team’s center depth, giving them a run of Sebastian Aho, Jordan Staal, Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Stastny through the middle, though not necessarily in that order.
Stastny still has the ability to be productive in a top-six role, and could find himself playing second line minutes at times next season, dropping no further than the third line, keeping him involved in the action regularly.
He could be a solid mentor for the likes of Kotkaniemi, who has yet to truly live up to his third-overall draft selection, and can share his many years of experience with some of the young prospects in the Hurricanes’ system.
With Ondrej Kase also signed on for next season, and Max Pacioretty hopefully ready to return to contribute late in the year, the Hurricanes look to have a genuinely strong top nine forwards and should be looking to mount a serious post-season challenge when the regular season is concluded.
Stastny may not be the player he once was, but he still holds great value with a competitive team such as Carolina, and bringing him in on a friendly short-term deal should certainly benefit the team greatly in their hunt for another Stanley Cup.
With the team now $2.6 million over the cap, however, some more player movement may be needed to be compliant by the start of the regular season, and there’s every possibility that the Carolina Hurricanes are not finished with their roster changes with less than two months to go.