The Carolina Hurricanes have reportedly come to terms with journeyman forward Lee Stempniak on a two-year contract worth $5 million.
Hurricanes sign Lee Stempniak. Two years for $2.5-million a season.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) July 1, 2016
The addition of Stempniak is a cheap option for the Canes to bolster their forward group, and is surely one of the more underrated free agent signings of the day. The 33-year-old Stempniak is coming off a season with 19 goals and 51 points, spent between the New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins. Stempniak’s 32 assists in 2015-16 were a career-high, and his point total was the second highest of his 11 year NHL career; he had 52 points in 2006-07 with the St. Louis Blues, a year when he also set a career-best with 27 goals.
With only costing the Canes $2.5 million per season, Stempniak’s term is a very low risk for both sides. He’ll more than likely play in the team’s top-six forward group, bringing all-around abilities and a veteran presence to the lineup. His new deal makes him the team’s fifth-highest paid forward.
Stempniak, a former 148th overall draft pick to the Blues in 2003, has played for nine teams over his NHL career, including six in the past three seasons. The West Seneca, NY native has totaled 184 goals and 420 points in 790 NHL games, spent with the Blues, Maple Leafs, Coyotes, Flames, Penguins, Rangers, Jets, Devils and Bruins.