BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 11: Jesse Winchester #18 of the Ottawa Senators checks Marc-Andre Gragnani #17 of the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center on November 11, 2011 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The Hurricanes bolstered their blue line with a depth signing Wednesday, agreeing to a one-year, two-way deal with former Vancouver Canucks defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani worth $800,000 in the NHL or $105,000 in the AHL. Gragnani made $550,000 last season while spending the entire year in the NHL.
Gragnani split last season between Buffalo and Vancouver, being sent to the West Coast at the trade deadline as part of the Zack Kassian/Cody Hodgson deal. He became an unrestricted free agent when Vancouver decided not to submit a qualifying offer to keep his rights.
Despite the contract being two-way, Gragnani is not waiver-exempt, nor is Bobby Sanguinetti, who is likely Gragnani's toughest competition to make the NHL roster next season. It's highly unlikely both will make the team, which will lead to either (or both) needing to clear waivers to be assigned to Charlotte.
The release from the team follows the jump.
‘CANES AGREE TO TERMS WITH MARC-ANDRE GRAGNANI
Defenseman skated in 58 NHL games with Buffalo and Vancouver in 2011-12
RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Vice President of Hockey Operations for the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani (MAHRK-AWN-dray GRAN-ya-nee) on a one-year, two-way contract. The deal will pay Gragnani $800,000 on the NHL level or $105,000 on the American Hockey League (AHL) level.
"Marc-Andre was in the NHL all of last season, and will push for a job with us in the fall," said Francis. "He has good size and has shown the ability to produce offensively both in the AHL and the NHL."
Gragnani, 25, split the 2011-12 season between Buffalo and Vancouver, totaling two goals, 13 assists (15 points) and 26 penalty minutes in 58 games. The Montreal native played 44 games with the Sabres and had a plus-10 plus/minus rating prior to being dealt to Vancouver along with Zack Kassian in exchange for Cody Hodgson and Alexander Sulzer on Feb. 27.
Drafted by the Sabres in the third round, 87th overall, of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Gragnani (6’2", 201 lbs.) has appeared in 73 career NHL games with Buffalo and Vancouver, registering three goals and 15 assists (18 points). In 283 career AHL games withRochester and Portland, he earned 206 points (47g, 159a) and registered 185 penalty minutes. Prior to turning professional, Gragnani played four seasons with the P.E.I. Rocket of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, tallying 193 points (50g, 143a) in 256 games. His career statistics are below.