'Canes make statement by signing Staal, Semin




RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The Carolina Hurricanes wanted to add one top-shelf forward this offseason. They got two.

By trading for Jordan Staal and signing Alexander Semin, the Hurricanes have sent a clear message: They're in it to win -- now.

General manager Jim Rutherford said Friday it's hard to judge a hockey team during the summer but "we are a much stronger team going into the season than we have been in a long time."

Carolina continued its productive offseason this week by signing free agent Semin to a one-year, $7 million contract. That came a few weeks after trading for Staal -- the brother of captain Eric Staal -- and locking him up with a 10-year extension.

Those deals were made to meet the team's stated objective of adding scoring punch.