Stanley Cup Celebration
Tracking the Storm
 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

With Yelle, Canes Loaded at Center

Wednesday, 08.19.2009 / 12:31 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
X
Share with your Friends


With Yelle, Canes Loaded at Center
The Hurricanes bolstered their depth at center today with the signing of veteran Stephane Yelle, most recently of the Boston Bruins, to a one-year contract.

Paul Branecky
Index | Archive
The 35-year-old Yelle, who is expected to fill a checking line role with the team, brings a number of important intangibles with him to Carolina. He won two Stanley Cups with the Colorado Avalanche in 1996 and 2001 and served as an alternate captain at times in his only season with the Bruins last year, giving him plenty of experience and leadership.  

“He knows how to win and he knows his place on the team,” said Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford, who consulted with Aaron Ward, a teammate of Yelle’s in Boston last season, before making the move. “We’re really excited about this signing, which gives us a lot more depth to our forwards.”

The move, which Rutherford believes to be his final signing of the offseason, gives the Hurricanes four solid centers along with Rod Brind’Amour, Matt Cullen and Eric Staal. Additionally, Jussi Jokinen and Tuomo Ruutu can also play there if needed, and first-round pick Brandon Sutter will be just a phone call away in the American Hockey League.

All that amounts to a ton of depth at one of the most important positions in which a team could ask to have it.

“When you look at our team going into last season with where were at center-ice wise, we have so much more depth and experience there now,” said Rutherford.

That includes Brind’Amour, whose exact role may not be determined until training camp, but whom Rutherford thinks can still have a big season.

”Rod Brind’Amour is still a good player,” said Rutherford. “He may be the second-line center. I think with the 12 forwards that we have now, it gives our coaching staff a lot of flexibility over the course of a very long season. I expect and I believe Rod Brind’Amour will play a big role on this team next season.”

The move, if indeed it is the last, caps a busy summer for the Hurricanes, who have signed Yelle, Andrew Alberts and Tom Kostopoulos in addition to bringing back most of their own free agents and trading for Aaron Ward.

Those moves ended up costing a little bit more money than the team had anticipated, but adjustments were made in order to accommodate the formation of what could be a contender in the coming year.

“We’ve moved way up on the cap, higher than we’ve ever been, but we’re also a team that won the Cup a couple of years ago and went to the conference finals last year,” said Rutherford. “Our organization believes that we’ve got a chance to win again.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
5 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 54 15 19 -13 34
J. Skinner 54 19 12 -3 31
V. Rask 52 12 19 0 31
J. Staal 54 12 19 8 31
K. Versteeg 53 10 21 1 31
E. Staal 54 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 54 8 16 -9 24
A. Nestrasil 47 7 12 0 19
J. Nordstrom 43 5 9 2 14
R. Hainsey 54 3 11 -11 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 6 .908 2.38
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
Alumni Game