The Hurricanes have agreed to terms with defenseman Joe Corvo on a two-year contract, bringing back a player they traded to the Washington Capitals in March.
The deal will pay Corvo $2 million in 2010-11 and $2.5 million in 2011-12.
"We feel really good about Joe coming back," general manager Jim Rutherford said today. "Joe has been a good player for us for a number of seasons. Joe gives us a lot of minutes. He can skate, he moves the puck well, he competes hard.
"If you look at our defensemen, we have four capable of getting us 30 or more points. We feel good about our depth."
Rutherford said Corvo "sacrificed" in his negotiations and in signing with the Canes rather than seeking a bigger deal elsewhere.
"His first choice was Carolina and he compromised his position to make it happen," Rutherford said. "You really appreciate a player who really wants to play for Carolina."
Rutherford said the Canes would no longer consider re-signing defenseman Brian Pothier, who came to Carolina as part of the March 3 trade-deadline day deal that sent Corvo to the Caps. He said the Canes could seek to sign either Brett Carson or Alex Picard, who became unrestricted free agents July 1 when Carolina did not make them qualifying offers.
Rutherford said the team was pleased about the addition of defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti in a trade with the New York Rangers completed during the NHL Entry Draft. Sanguinetti, he said, is expected to push for a roster spot in training camp.
"This made sense for us," Rutherford said of the Corvo signing. "If we get an injury now in the top four (defensemen), we won't have to be quite as stressed as to who can jump in there."
Corvo, splitting the 2009-10 season between Carolina and Washington, totaled six goals and 12 assists (18 points) in 52 games played. The Oak Park, IL, native missed 28 games from Dec. 5 until Feb. 1, after being cut on the lower-right leg by a skate in a game against the Caps on Nov. 30.
Prior to the injury, Corvo ranked first among Hurricanes and eighth in the NHL in average ice time per game (25:33). Corvo was traded to the Capitals on March 3 in exchange for Pothier, center Oskar Osala and Washington’s 2011 second-round draft selection. He had a goal and an assist during the Capitals’ seven-game Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against Montreal.