RALEIGH, N.C. -- After finishing last season in 13th place in the Eastern Conference, the Carolina Hurricanes anticipated an uphill climb to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It became a more difficult task earlier this week when the team announced defenseman Joni Pitkanen is out for the entire upcoming season.
So the Hurricanes struck quickly Thursday, signing free agent defenseman Ron Hainsey to a one-year, $2 million contract. Hainsey finished last season with no goals and 13 assists for the Winnipeg Jets.
"Hainsey was a guy we liked coming into free agency and we wanted him to come here," Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford said. "We were trying to make it work, so we are thankful for him being patient."