The Hurricanes added some more blue-line depth by signing defensemen Matt Corrente and Mark Flood to one-year, two-way contracts. Both will be paid $550,000 in the NHL while receiving different salaries in the AHL. More details on their contracts can be found in the Hurricanes press release here.
This looks like a move to help Charlotte because both defensemen are seasonsed AHL veterans and the Checkers currently have a lot of younger players in their defense corps. The Checkers have a bit of a logjam on their blue-line with eight under contract, but with five of them being rookies there is no harm in adding some more experienced players. They might also lose Brett Bellemore and Ryan Murphy to the AHL, so adding a couple more players gives them more depth and some insurance if they lose guys to the NHL.
Corrente & Flood also have some NHL experience and can fill-in if the injury bug crushes Carolina's blue-line again. They aren't going to be future stars, but having them around for a call-up is a lot better than constantly calling up guys with no experience like the Canes did last season. What exactly do these two players bring to the table besides experience, though? Well, they are both completely different players who can help the Hurricanes in a limited capacity.
Corrente, 25, is a former first round pick of the New Jersey Devils and has a reputation of being a mean, physical defenseman. He missed the majority of last season with a shoulder injury, but should provide some sandpaper in Charlotte's lineup when healthy. He can also take over Bellemore's minutes on the penalty kill if he ends up in Raleigh come opening night. Corrente has 34 games of NHL experience and has recorded six points, all of which were assists. He also tallied 68 penalty minutes, which should give you an idea of what style of game he plays. Corrente's underlying numbers are a bit out of whack too, as he seemed to do well with sheltered minutes during his first year but struggles to keep play out of his own end the season after that. It's been two years since he last played in the NHL, so I won't put a ton of thought into them but he appears to be a fringe NHL player based on what he's done so far. Another fun fact about him is that the Devils took him with a draft pick that originally belonged to the Hurricanes in the 2006 Draft.
Flood, 28, is more of an offensive defenseman and he has some familiarity with the Hurricanes system from his three years with the Albany River Rats. He got an extended look in the NHL last season, spending 33 games with the Winnipeg Jets and recording three goals and seven points during his time there. He has a pretty dangerous shot and can work a power play well, but Flood's underlying numbers last year suggest that he is not an NHL-quality defenseman. He played sheltered minutes and struggled at preventing shots & scoring chances against, so he probably won't see much time beyond a 6/7th defenseman role if he is called up. It appears that Flood was signed as a replacement for Marc-Andre Gragnani in Charlotte, as they are both similar defenseman and can play top-pairing minutes in the AHL. He spent last season with Yaroslavl Lokomotiv of the KHL, recording one goal and six points in 52 games.
Carolina's made a lot of small moves to strengthen their organizational depth this year and continued that by adding two solid AHL defensemen. I'm not sure if either Corrente or Flood are up to NHL competition, but they can certainly be a big help to Charlotte. Corrente also has some upside since he is only 25 and can get better with time.