The Carolina Hurricanes continued their extensive lineup makeover with the signing of veteran center Paul Stastny.
The 36-year-old gets a one-year, $1.5 million contract for what will be his 17th season in the league.
There were younger, faster centers available in this summer’s open market, but Stastny is a consistent, durable, second- or third-line option for a team that needs help on special teams and in the faceoff circle.
“Paul is an extremely reliable veteran who has been effective at both ends of the ice for his entire career,” Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said. “He adds even more experience and leadership to our forward group, and we are excited to have him in Carolina.”
On a struggling Winnipeg Jets team that did not make the postseason in the Western Conference in 2021-22, Stastny managed 21 goals and 45 points, and he did so while averaging 17:46 time on the ice.
He picked up a larger role after the Jets pared down their forwards, shipping center Andrew Copp to the New York Rangers. That clearly helped, as he topped the 20-goal barrier for the first time since 2013-14, when he netted 25 for the Colorado Avalanche.
The well-traveled Stastny has already played for four teams — including two stints with the Jets — so fitting in and finding chemistry with teammates should not be an issue for a veteran who is 16 goals shy of 300 for his career.
The Hurricanes have had a busy offseason. Among the moves, they traded for defenseman Brett Burns and forward Max Pacioretty and signed winger Ondrej Kase. They lost forwards Nino Niederreiter and Vincent Trocheck in free agency and traded defenseman Tony DeAngelo.