Francis continues to reinforce Hurricanes roster depth

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Carolina Hurricanes maintained a steady pace of signing free agents on Thursday.

The team’s roster continued to get restocked with the announcement of defenseman Tim Gleason returning to Raleigh as well as American Hockey League (AHL) regulars from the Charlotte Checkers, forward Jared Staal and defenseman Michal Jordan, signing back on with the organization.

Gleason was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 1 in exchange for John-Michael Liles and Dennis Robertson after playing seven seasons for the Hurricanes.

He split the 2013-14 season between Carolina and Toronto, finishing with six points (1g, 5a) and 65 penalty minutes in 56 games.

“We obviously know well what Tim brings to our team on and off the ice and how he fits in our organization,” Carolina executive vice president and general manager Ron Francis said.

“We are happy that he is choosing to return to Raleigh.”

Since the free agent signing period began on Tuesday, Francis and his management staff have announced at least three signings a day.

On Wednesday, the team agreed to terms on one-year deals with forwards Zach Boychuk and Greg Nemisz in addition to signing center Jay McClement, a free agent who along with Gleason, played for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season.

“Jay is a veteran centerman who is proficient in the faceoff circle,” Francis said.

“He’ll also provide elements of consistency and leadership for our club.”

McClement completed his ninth NHL season with Maple Leafs posting 10 points (4g, 6a) in 81 games while ranking in the top 25 in the NHL in face-off percentage (53.6%).

Working through his first offseason in being the final decision-maker in shaping the team’s roster, Francis has not resorted to making any significant trade moves.

Instead he has worked to keep the Hurricanes system intact by building around the team’s talent pool with the addition of experienced and sizable role players, and has provided new coach Bill Peters the personnel base to work and shape as he sees fit heading into the season.

Carolina Hurricanes – Free agent signings since July 1

Tim Gleason (D) – 1 year – $1.2 million

Jared Staal (F) – 1 year – $550,000 (NHL)/ $65,000 (AHL)

Michal Jordan (D) – 1 year – $550,000 (NHL)/ $200,000 (AHL) – $225,000 guarantee

Jay McClement (C) – Center – 1 year – $1 million

Zach Boychuk (F) – 1 year – $600,000 (NHL)/ $200,000 (AHL) – $275,000 guarantee

Greg Nimisz (F) – 1 year – $600,000 (NHL)/ $100,000 (AHL) – $125,000 guarantee

Jiri Tlusty (F) – 1 year $2.9 million

Brad Malone (C) – 2 years – $600,000/$700,000

Drew MacIntyre (G) – 1 year – $600,000 (NHL)/ $250,000 (NHL)