RALEIGH, NC – Jason Karmanos, Vice President and Assistant General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Zack Fitzgerald on a one-year, two-way contract. The deal will pay Fitzgerald a minimum of $75,000, with a salary of $500,000 at the NHL level, and $65,000 at the minor-league level.
Fitzgerald, 25, led the American Hockey League with 311 penalty minutes in 2009-10, while playing for the Hurricanes’ top minor-league affiliate, the Albany River Rats. The Two Harbors, MN, native scored two goals and earned 12 assists (14 points) while playing in 77 of Albany’s 80 regular-season games. Fitzgerald (6’2”, 214 lbs.) has scored eight goals, earned 26 assists (34 points), totaled 811 penalty minutes and compiled a plus-15 rating in 223 career AHL regular-season games with Albany, Manitoba and Peoria. The St. Louis Blues drafted Fitzgerald in the fourth round, 88th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, and the Hurricanes signed him as a free agent on July 15, 2009.