Hurricanes sign veteran forward Derek Stepan to one-year contract

·2 min read
Arizona Coyotes center Derek Stepan (21) skates past New York Islanders’ Anthony Beauvillier (18) during an NHL hockey game, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The Carolina Hurricanes continued to reshape their roster Saturday, signing forward Derek Stepan to a one-year, $1.35 million contract.

“Derek is an experienced two-way center who can play in all situations,” Canes president and general manager Don Waddell said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to add another veteran to our lineup.”

Stepan, 31, played 20 games for the Ottawa Senators last season, finishing with one goal and five assists. He has 759 regular-season games of NHL experience, with career totals of 168 goals and 317 assists, and has competed in 106 career Stanley Cup games.

The Canes, since the end of the season, have had winger Warren Foegele traded to the Edmonton Oilers, winger Brock McGinn leave in free agency to sign with Pittsburgh and center Morgan Geekie selected by the Seattle Kraken in the NHL expansion draft. Forward Cedric Paquette also left in free agency.

Stepan spent seven seasons with the New York Rangers and three with the Arizona Coyotes before going to Ottawa for the 2020-21 season. He had a career-high 57 points with the Rangers in 2013-14 and scored a career-best 22 goals in 2015-16.

Stepan’s hockey resume also includes representing the United States at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship, winning gold, the 2011 IIHF World Championship, the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

The Canes on Saturday also announced two other signings: goalie Alex Lyon and forward Maxim Letunov. Both received one-year, two-way contracts.

Lyon, who played six games last season for the Philadelphia Flyers, will receive $750,000 at the NHL level and $200,000 at the American Hockey League (AHL) level, with a $250,000 guarantee.

“Alex is a goaltender with experience at both the AHL and NHL levels,” Waddell said in a statement. “This signing helps solidify our goaltending depth.”

Lyon, 28, had a 1-3-1 record, 3.33 goals-against average and .893 save percentage last season. He had a 6-7-2 record, 3.21 GAA and .893 save percentage in 22 career NHL games with Philadelphia.

Letunov’s one-year deal will pay $750,000 at the NHL level and $100,000 at the AHL level with a $140,000 guarantee.

“Max is a playmaking center who brings size and speed,” Waddell said in a statement. “This signing helps improve our organizational depth at forward.”

Letunov, 25, had 12 goals and three assists in 32 AHL games with the San Jose Barracuda last season.

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