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|Carolina surprising spenders in free agency|
|Written by Denis Gorman|
|Monday, 02 July 2012 10:40|
The teams that had their names in the hat for free agency's two big fish, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, were the usual suspects for the most part. Detroit, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh all had thrown their names into the mix. The Carolina Hurricanes, however, were a surprise addition to the group of suitors.The NHL Free Agent frenzy has commenced.
On the first day of free agency, it was the Carolina Hurricanes who were the big spenders. The possibility exists that the Hurricanes could be the period's big winners.
Carolina signed Jordan Staal, defenseman Joe Corvo, goaltender Justin Peters and forward Brett Sutter to 14 years' worth of contracts totaling $63.075 million. The Hurricanes announced a 10-year, $60 million extension with Staal about a half hour before free agency began.
Corvo agreed to a one-year, $2 million contract. Peters signed a two-year, two-way deal while Sutter signed a one-year, two-way pact.
"We are very pleased that Jordan has chosen to commit to the Hurricanes organization and to make North Carolina his home. At 23 years old he is just starting to come into his prime, and he now represents a cornerstone of our franchise for the long term," General Manager Jim Rutherford said in statements released by the organization. "Joe and his family call Raleigh home, and he has had some of his best seasons while playing here. We are pleased to welcome him back and to add his veteran presence to our blue line."
Rutherford also reported that the Hurricanes presented offers to the crown jewels of the free agent crop, New Jersey Devils left wing Zach Parise and Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter.
Parise spent Sunday holed up in his agent's office in Mississauga, Ontario, while Suter was on his farm in Wisconsin. Both spent the day reviewing prospective offers.
"It's kind of exciting for us because this is an offseason where we're really into trying to get one of these big free agents," Rutherford said to the Raleigh News and
Observer about the being in the running for Parise and Suter. "We're in the mix this year, more like the big-market teams have been in past year. And we hope we can get one."
Parise, who will turn 28 on July 28, has scored 30 or more goals five times in his career. He set a career high in goals (45), assists (49) and points (94) in the 2008-09season. Parise has recorded 194 goals and 410 points in 502 NHL games. He is a career plus-57.
Rutherford told the News and Observer that the Parise camp passed on the Hurricanes' offer, although Carolina assistant coach John MacLean was trying to contact the star winger. Parise played under MacLean, who served as both an assistant coach and head coach with the Devils.
The Hurricanes did not make an in-person pitch to Parise.
"We asked did we need to get to Toronto today, right away, and the answer was 'no," but we have offered that," Rutherford "He's going to have different types of options as to what type of team he wants to play on
"If we don't get Parise, we're right back in the trade market," Rutherford said. "Immediately."
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