Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford on Friday signed the 31-year-old defenseman to a one-year contract worth $700,000. Not long after signing Komisarek, Rutherford signed goalie Anton Khudobin to a one-year deal $800,000.
Komisarek sustained several injuries during his most recent tenure with the Toronto Maples Leafs while failing to live up to lofty expectations after signing a deal with the team prior to the 2009-10 season.
"Mike faced different circumstances and expectations in Toronto than he will in Carolina, and we feel that he has a better chance to succeed with our team," Rutherford said. "He adds size, physicality and leadership qualities to our defensive corps, and is a good penalty killer."
Komisarek told Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer there were two other teams interested in his services, but that Carolina seemed to be a "fresh breath of air" for him and his family.
The Maple Leafs used one of their compliance buyouts on Komisarek earlier this week, making him a free agent. Komisarek's final year of his five-year, $22.5-million deal will not count against Toronto's salary cap.
"This is my second experience with the whole free-agent thing and I can definitely say this was a lot more enjoyable," Komisarek told the News & Observer. "It wasn't as hectic and crazy. With the circumstances with the buyout and the last couple of years with the Leafs, I didn't think there would be a big market or be able to choose where I would be able to go."
The first-round pick (No. 7) of the Montreal Canadiens in 2001 has 14 goals and 77 points in 519 regular-season games with the Canadiens and Maple Leafs. The native of West Islip, N.Y., was limited to four games for the Maple Leafs this past season while dealing with injuries and inconsistent play.
He said he feels great and is ready for training camp.
"My body hasn't felt this good in years. I feel strong," he said.
Komisarek, who was chosen to play for the United States in the 2010 Winter Olympics but was sidelined after undergoing shoulder surgery in January, had career highs in goals (four), assists (15) and points (19) during the 2006-07 season with the Canadiens. He led the NHL in hits (266) and ranked second in blocked shots (227) in 2007-08.
"Anton proved to be a very capable NHL backup for the Bruins last year," Rutherford said. "This solidifies an elite goaltending tandem for the Hurricanes (with Cam Ward)."