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Canes sign Lintuniemi, look to add to depth players

Having completed some major personnel moves in the past week, the Carolina Hurricanes continued to add to their depth players Monday.

The Canes signed defenseman Alex Lintuniemi to a one-year, two-way contract for the 2019-20 season. The contract will pay Lintuniemi $700,000 at the NHL level and $85,000 at the AHL level.

“Alex is a solid, two-way defenseman with size,” Canes general manager Don Waddell said in a statement of the 6-4, 231-pound player from Helsinki, Finland.

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Anaheim Ducks’ Andrew Cogliano, right, shoots under pressure by Los Angeles Kings’ Alex Lintuniemi during the second period of an NHL preseason hockey game, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Jae C. Hong AP

On Thursday, the Canes signed forward Brian Gibbons to a one-year, two-way contract that will pay $725,000 at the NHL level and $100,000 at the AHL level, with a $225,000 guarantee.

Gibbons, 31, played a total of 64 NHL games last season with Anaheim and Ottawa, finishing with eight goals and 11 assists. The 5-8, 175-pound forward has been in 189 NHL career games, also spending time with Pittsburgh, Columbus and New Jersey.

“Brian is an experienced winger with nearly 200 games of NHL experience,” Waddell said in a statement. “He spent all of last season on the NHL.”

The Braintree, Mass., native won two NCAA championships with Boston College (2008 and 2010) in four seasons with the Eagles.

Lintuniemi, 23, was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the second round, 60th overall, in the 2014 NHL Draft. He played for Finland in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Lintuniemi had 25 points in 67 games with the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League last season and has played in 176 career AHL games.

The Charlotte Checkers, the Canes’ AHL affiliate, dominated the league this past season and won the Calder Cup, but have since lost such key contributors as forwards Andrew Poturalski, Patrick Brown and Aleksi Saarala through free agency and trades. The Checkers also lost their coach, Mike Vellucci, who left the Canes organization to coach the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton AHL team for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In more than 30 years at The N&O, Chip Alexander has covered the N.C. State, UNC, Duke and East Carolina beats, and now is in his 11th season on the Carolina Hurricanes beat. Alexander, who has won numerous writing awards at the state and national level, covered the Hurricanes’ move to North Carolina in 1997 and was a part of The N&O’s coverage of the Canes’ 2006 Stanley Cup run.
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