Jul 11, 2012, 2:15 PM EDT
Gragnani, 25, turned heads during the 2011 postseason when he led Buffalo in scoring — seven points in seven games — during the Sabres’ opening-round loss to Philadelphia.
He followed that up by scoring 12 points in 44 games last season before being dealt to Vancouver…where things didn’t go especially well.
The Canucks dressed Gragnani for 14 games (the exact number that prevented him from becoming a Group 6 unrestricted free agent) during which he proved to be a defensive liability, finishing minus-4.
Vancouver then tried to trade Gragnani at the draft but, when no suitors emerged, he wasn’t given a qualifying offer and became a UFA anyway.
Gragnani should have a decent shot of sticking in Carolina given the Hurricanes’ lack of depth on the blueline. Joni Pitkanen, Tim Gleason, Joe Corvo, Jamie McBain, Justin Faulk and Jay Harrison are the six under contract, though 2011 first-round pick Ryan Murphy will be in the mix as well.
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