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Hurricanes sign Michael Bunting to three-year deal

The Hurricanes have added some goal scoring and toughness to their forward group.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Florida Panthers at Toronto Maple Leafs Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

After landing the best defenseman on the free agent market, the Hurricanes continued their busy first day of free agency by adding a winger who fills multiple needs for them up front. Most around the team would agree the Hurricanes needed to add goal scoring this summer, and would be well served to add a player who could bring some more size and toughness as well.

UFA winger Michael Bunting brings both, and the Hurricanes, as first reported by Kevin Weekes and confirmed by Pierre LeBrun, are signing him to a three-year deal with a $4.5-million AAV. Bunting has scored 23 goals in each of the past two seasons for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and put up 49 points this past season and 63 the year before.

In addition to bringing some needed additional scoring for Carolina up front, Bunting is a player who plays with an edge, as the 6-foot, 192-pound winger has totaled 183 penalty minutes over the past two seasons, with 85 hits in each year.

With the Leafs, Bunting played alongside the likes of Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, so he’s an ideal fit to join up with players like Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov and Martin Necas in the Hurricanes’ top six.

Don Waddell has been a busy man this July 1, and has made immediate upgrades both up front and on the blue line for the Hurricanes. Stay tuned to Canes Country for more offseason coverage, including Don Waddell’s 4 p.m. press conference.