The Carolina Hurricanes have announced the signing of forward Aaron Palushaj to a one-year, two-way deal.
Palushaj is set to earn $600,000 at the NHL level and $175,000 annually in the minors, but he’s guaranteed to make at least $225,000 in 2013-14.
At 23, he was an unrestricted free agent after the Colorado Avalanche declined to present him with a qualifying offer.
“Aaron is still a young player and has some NHL experience under his belt,” said Ron Francis, the Hurricanes vice president of hockey operations. “He has good speed and good hands and we believe he can push for a job in Raleigh come September.”
He’s enjoyed some very strong offensive seasons in the AHL, but has just 14 points in 66 NHL contests so far. The Michigan-native scored two goals and nine points in 25 games with the Colorado Avalanche last season.
Nashville Predators winger Rich Clune ran afoul of the National Hockey League rules Monday, and as a result was fined on Wednesday.
Clune, 25, was fined $1,452.70 by the NHL for an incident that happened in the first period of Monday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche. Clune was originally assessed a minor penalty for boarding, for his hit on Avalanche forward Aaron Palushaj.
The fine was the second act of supplemental discipline handed out by the NHL on Wednesday. Canucks winger Jannik Hansen was suspended one game for a hit to the head of Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa.
As per a statement from the NHL, the maximum amount Clune could have been fined was the “lesser of $10,000 or one-half of his daily salary.”
The money from the fine goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Clune has one goal and 33 penalty minutes in 16 games this season for Nashville.
Desperate for depth up front, Colorado claimed forward Aaron Palushaj off waivers from Montreal on Tuesday.
Palushaj, 23, has spent all of this season with Montreal’s AHL affiliate in Hamilton, notching 10 points in 21 games before being sidelined by a shoulder injury.
He’s appeared in 41 career contests for the Habs, scoring one goal and four assists.
The Avalanche have been decimated by injuries to their forwards this season, so the pickup makes sense. Steve Downie is out for the year with a torn ACL, Gabriel Landeskog is sidelined indefinitely with a head injury and winger David Jones missed Monday’s contest against Dallas with a knee issue.
Add in the fact that Colorado’s still without center Ryan O’Reilly — last year’s leading scorer is embroiled in a contract dispute — and the team is essentially without four of its top nine forwards from a year ago.
Palushaj was a big-time scorer collegiate level and a point-a-game guy with Hamilton in 2011-12 (35PTS in 35GP), so he could play on one of Colorado’s top three lines and see some occasional powerplay time.