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Canadian Press
8/30/2006 3:22:10 PM

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The Carolina Hurricanes signed forward Brad Isbister to a $600,000 US, one-year deal Wednesday, likely wrapping up their off-season pursuit of free agents.

The move gives the defending Stanley Cup champions another scoring threat to help replace the injured Cory Stillman, who had surgery earlier this month to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Team president and general manager Jim Rutherford has said Stillman could miss up to 40 games.

''It gives us a player who has proven in the National Hockey League that he can score goals,'' coach Peter Laviolette said. Stillman's injury ''opens up an opportunity for a lot of different players, and he's one of them.''

Isbister gets a two-way deal that will pay him $95,000 if he is sent to the Hurricanes' American Hockey League affiliate in Albany.

The 29-year-old Isbister had six goals and 17 assists last season for the Boston Bruins. He has 99 goals and 107 assists during an eight-year career that includes stints with the Phoenix Coyotes, New York Islanders and Edmonton Oilers.

He played for Laviolette for two seasons beginning in 2001-02 when both were with the Islanders.

''He's a big, strong, hard-skating forward who can score goals,'' Laviolette said.

Since winning the Stanley Cup, the team has traded for forward Scott Walker and signed forwards Jesse Boulerice and Shane Willis along with defenceman David Tanabe.

''We've got quite a few guys signed, probably to the point right now where maybe (there are) a couple more than we thought, especially when we look at the whole organization with how many slots we have in Albany,'' Rutherford said.

Laviolette said the team's most important moves kept together much of the nucleus of the team that won the Cup, including team captain Rod Brind'Amour, defenceman Glen Wesley and forwards Justin Williams, Erik Cole and Eric Staal.

''There's a big core of our team that came back, and to be honest, that was the strength of the summer,'' Laviolette said.
 
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