In another one of those “not so big free agent signings,” the Hurricanes have announced that they have signed defenseman Marc-Andrei Gragnani to a one-year, two-way contract. The contract will pay him $105,000 on the AHL level and $800,000 on the NHL level. Gragnani, 25, was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the 3rd round (87th overall) in the 2005 draft. He has played a total of 73 games in the NHL with both the Sabres and Vancouver Canucks, who acquired Gragnani at the trade deadline last season from Buffalo with Zack Kassian for Cody Hodgson and Alex Sulzer. Gragnani then played 14 games with the Canucks to finish up the 2011-12 season, registering 3 points (1G, 2A) and 6 PIMs. The 6’2″, 205 pound Ile Bizard, Quebec native has represented Canada in the under-18 World Junior Championships in 2005 and the World Championship in 2011.
The signing won’t be the cure all for the Canes defensive woes, but it will add depth to the roster in Charlotte. While this isn’t the big name signing on defense that many Caniacs have hoped for, he’ll certainly add defensive depth and will most likely be one of the first call-ups to Raleigh if needed. With Bobby Sanguinetti likely contending for a roster spot, Gragnani will be the 8th(ish) defenseman in the Canes system.
He scored his first career goal against the Canes, ironically enough. Sorry for the audio quality (and when I say audio quality, I mean announcing):
His first goal as a Canuck came against the Calgary Flames on 3/31/2012:
The official press release from the team is below:
RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Vice President of Hockey Operations for the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani (MAHRK-AWN-dray GRAN-ya-nee) on a one-year, two-way contract. The deal will pay Gragnani $800,000 on the NHL level or $105,000 on the American Hockey League (AHL) level.
“Marc-Andre was in the NHL all of last season, and will push for a job with us in the fall,” said Francis. “He has good size and has shown the ability to produce offensively both in the AHL and the NHL.”
Gragnani, 25, split the 2011-12 season between Buffalo and Vancouver, totaling two goals, 13 assists (15 points) and 26 penalty minutes in 58 games. The Montreal native played 44 games with the Sabres and had a plus-10 plus/minus rating prior to being dealt to Vancouver along with Zack Kassian in exchange for Cody Hodgson and Alexander Sulzer on Feb. 27.
Drafted by the Sabres in the third round, 87th overall, of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Gragnani (6’2”, 201 lbs.) has appeared in 73 career NHL games with Buffalo and Vancouver, registering three goals and 15 assists (18 points). In 283 career AHL games with Rochester and Portland, he earned 206 points (47g, 159a) and registered 185 penalty minutes. Prior to turning professional, Gragnani played four seasons with the P.E.I. Rocket of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, tallying 193 points (50g, 143a) in 256 games.