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.
"It's easy for me to say we stack up fine, but you really don't know until you play the games," general manager Jim Rutherford said Friday. "But I will say 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 worth 6 million per year.
The Semin signing brought the payroll to roughly 57 million, up about 5 million from this time last year, Rutherford said.
Owner Peter Karmanos Jr. gave him the financial flexibility to make the Semin deal and Rutherford said the rec...