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Hurricanes have quiet but successful offseason

Posted July 9, 2013
Updated July 10, 2013

FILE: The Carolina Hurricanes unveiled new home and away uniforms Tuesday at PNC Arena.

The Carolina Hurricanes quietly had a successful offseason to strengthen their weaknesses prior to the 2013 Prospects Development Camp starting July 16 at PNC Arena. The Hurricanes added two low-risk veteran players, defenseman Mike Komisarek and goaltender Anton Khudobin to the roster on the first day of free agency July 5. Each was signed to a one-year deal - Komisarek will make $700,000 and Khudobin will earn $800,000.

General Manager Jim Rutherford left the 2013 NHL Draft in New Jersey with three impact skaters including forward Elias Lindholm, defenseman Andrej Sekera and defenseman Brett Pesce.

The Hurricanes flirted with moving back to the 8th spot in the draft in exchange for defenseman Andrej Sekera and hoped to draft Lindholm. Rutherford said it was a good thing they didn’t go through with the trade because Lindholm would have been off the board.

“This is a guy that plays the game in all zones at a very high tempo and he likes to play the game with some grit,” Rutherford said while joining Adam and Joe on 99.9 The Fan ESPN Radio Tuesday afternoon. “I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t (make the team this season), but he’s a young guy. We always have to be careful with young guys if they are not quite ready. We’re going to give him every opportunity to play here and I think he will.”

If the 18-year-old, 6-foot, Lindholm fails to make the Hurricanes roster, he will play the season for the professional Swedish hockey team Brynäs IF instead of the Charlotte Checkers. Last season, Lindholm recorded 11 goals and 19 assists in 48 games with Brynäs IF.

The Hurricanes obtained defenseman Andrej Sekera from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for defenseman Jamie McBain and their second round pick. Rutherford considers Sekera, “a top-four guy.”

Third round selection, defenseman Brett Pesce, is considered a three-year project since he has decided to further develop his skills at the University of New Hampshire.

“He’s a little bit of a late bloomer and late developer,” said Rutherford. Pesce is entering his sophomore season at the collegiate level.

Veteran defenseman Tim Gleason gains a talented and experienced counterpart on the blue line in Komisarek.

“He’s got great leadership,” Rutherford said. “He’s great in the dressing room, which was important to us. He’ll stick up for his teammates when he needs to and brings some leadership qualities.”

Komisarek was drafted 7th overall in 2001 at the age of 18 by the Montreal Canadiens and later signed a long-term contract with Toronto Maple Leafs.

“He’s a relatively young guy,” said Rutherford. “He’s still got lots of game left in him. The fact that we could add another big guy back on our blue line was very important. He likes to play physical.”

Rutherford said the Hurricanes now have four fighters on their squad to compete with the scrappy teams, including new division rivals Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers.

Another addition to the squad is a much needed backup netminder in Anton Khudobin. The 27-year-old goaltender had a 9-4-1 record with a solid 2.32 goals-against average and .920 save percentage last season with the Boston Bruins. Last season’s backup goaltender Dan Ellis signed with the Dallas Stars last week.

14 Comments

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  • jdpridg Jul 10, 1:50 p.m.

    To the Staal haters... He finished 6th in the league in points (53), he had 18 goals ( tied for... View More

    — Posted by jdpridg

    for my opinion, I believe we will see improvement.. the canes play great against tough comp,... View More

    — Posted by Cragsdale

    Good point! They do have a history of strong play against teams at the top. Can't wait to see what turns up next season. Should be very entertaining.

  • Cragsdale Jul 10, 1:41 p.m.

    To the Staal haters... He finished 6th in the league in points (53), he had 18 goals ( tied for... View More

    — Posted by jdpridg

    for my opinion, I believe we will see improvement.. the canes play great against tough comp, it's the suck teams they kept losing to last year.

  • Cragsdale Jul 10, 1:39 p.m.

    I love the hate filled posts, makes watching all of you fair weather fans eat crow all the more entertaining.

  • jdpridg Jul 10, 1:27 p.m.

    To the Staal haters... He finished 6th in the league in points (53), he had 18 goals ( tied for 18th place depending on how you read ties, and 35 assists (6th place). He was also 15th in shots on goal. I can't argue he needs to up his toughness level, however, I'd take that performance any day of the week. I understand the frustration with the over all lack of performance by the entire team, but be sure to direct it at those who deserve it. In the meantime, keep on rockin Staal!
    As to the offseason, JR is starting to show signs of life. I sure hope he can stay out of the coaches way next season. Maybe we'll see some improvement despite the tougher division.

  • same ole story Jul 10, 9:00 a.m.

    Such a successful off season to solidify the last place finish in the division!! Maybe Stall will actually start playing hard before the All star break..... Yeah just as soon as ticket prices are cut in half......

  • aprince27 Jul 10, 8:33 a.m.

    First the Canes do not control the price of the concessions or parking, that is the arena.
    Now... View More

    — Posted by caniacman

    Gale Force Entertainment which controls the parking is the Canes. Concessions the Canes get a piece of....but the parking for the games next season were increased by the team

  • aprince27 Jul 10, 8:32 a.m.

    Does anyone really care about the lousy Canes?? Go NY Rangers!!

    — Posted by The Greatest Ever

    Funny, didn't I see you rooting for the Canes when they played the Jets last season.

    I'm pretty sure I did.

  • caniacman Jul 10, 8:24 a.m.

    First the Canes do not control the price of the concessions or parking, that is the arena.
    Now on to the team. These two moves were solid. I think the D is better then last year, the real question will be health. JR still hinted yesterday there was a big free agent that they want to sign but means they have to move a player. It sounds like the FA is Jagr the question is who are they trying to move.

  • hsiflee Jul 9, 11:21 p.m.

    Does anyone really care about the lousy Canes?? Go NY Rangers!!

    — Posted by The Greatest Ever

    ...go back up north DB

  • hsiflee Jul 9, 11:20 p.m.

    Canes making the playoffs will be a HUGE challenge - I think 5th in their division would be... View More

    — Posted by wlcat609

    ...Thanks professor

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