The free-agent market wasn't even open for 90 minutes Sunday before Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford met the media in Raleigh to discuss all of his moves.
In addition to signing Jordan Staal to a 10-year, $60 million contract extension, Rutherford announced that he had signed defenseman Joe Corvo to a one-year, $2 million contract with a no-movement clause, backup goalie Justin Peters to a two-year contract, and forward Brett Sutter to a one-year, two-way contract.
Rutherford also confirmed he has been in contact with the agents for coveted unrestricted free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.
"They didn't tell us no right off the bat, and we're working through that process now," Rutherford said of the representatives for the two biggest catches in free agency. "But, as you know, as everybody knows, there's lots of other teams too. But it's kind of exciting for us because this is an offseason for us where we're really into trying to get one of these big free agents and we hope we can get one of them."
2012 FREE AGENCY
Free agency previews (by division)
With free agency opening Sunday at noon ET, NHL.com takes a look at the needs of all 30 teams -- division by division -- as well as the Top 10 free agents in each division:
Rutherford added that if he can't land Parise, he will pursue options via the trade market.
Rutherford was actually the one who broke the news on Staal by using his Twitter account. The team put the terms of his contract extension in a press release.
The Hurricanes acquired Staal last weekend from Pittsburgh in exchange for Brandon Sutter and Brian Dumoulin and their first-round pick (No. 8).
Staal, of course, joins his brother, Eric, the captain of the Hurricanes, in Raleigh.
"It is the longest one (contract) that I've signed for the Hurricanes," Rutherford said. "It was important for us to know that his commitment to stay here that long a term was really good. That's why we went to the 10 years."
Staal turned down what was reportedly an identical contract offer from the Pittsburgh Penguins, which set in motion his trade to Carolina. Rutherford said coming to terms on the contract extension with Staal was easier because of what the Penguins had offered.
"Once they put that structure in place it kind of laid it out where we were at," Rutherford said.
Corvo, who played 75 games with the Boston Bruins last season, returns to Raleigh for his third stint with the Hurricanes. He originally came to the Hurricanes from Ottawa via trade in 2008. He played all of 2008-09 with Carolina before being dealt to Washington midway through the 2009-10 season.
Corvo, though, returned to Carolina for the 2010-11 season, but he was traded to Boston this past summer. He had 25 points in 75 games with the Bruins.
Rutherford noted that Corvo has shown chemistry with Tim Gleason. He also said the potential defense pairs for the Hurricanes now look like Gleason-Corvo, Joni Pitkanen-Justin Faulk and Jay Harrison-Jamie McBain. The GM also would not rule out Bobby Sanguinetti and 2011 first-round pick Ryan Murphy being a big part of the blue line.
"That's our group of eight defensemen," Rutherford said. "It could shake down several different ways, but getting a veteran defenseman there was very important for today."
Rutherford also said Corvo took less money to come to Carolina, which is why they gave him the no-movement clause in his contract.
Peters will be given the chance to earn the full-time backup job behind Cam Ward, but he'll be on a two-way contract in 2012-13 that will pay him $550,000 at the NHL level and $105,000 at the American Hockey League level. His contract becomes a one-way deal for $550,000 in 2013-14.
Backup Brian Boucher recently underwent shoulder surgery that will likely keep him out until December or January.
Peters went 2-3-2 with a 2.48 goals-against average in limited time with the Hurricanes last season. He appeared in 28 games for the 'Canes AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers, and went 10-13-2 with a 2.77 GAA. He was the AHL Goaltender of the Month for November, when he posted a 5-1-1 record with a 1.63 GAA and .949 save percentage.
"What we did a year ago is that we said he hadn't played enough games and if he was going to sit behind Cam Ward like that another year it wouldn't help his career," Rutherford said. "So, we wanted to get him back to Charlotte. He played a lot of games. He played extremely well in Charlotte and he played extremely well when he came up with us. So now the door is open right at the start here with Boucher being injured. He can make a case for himself that Boucher doesn't get back in when he gets healthy."
Sutter, the son of Kings coach Darryl Sutter, signed a two-way contract that will pay him $550,000 at the NHL level and $105,000 at the AHL level. He had three assists in 15 games with the Hurricanes last season and 13 goals and 16 assists for 29 points in 63 games with Charlotte, where he served as team captain.
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