RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Hurricanes re-signed forward Martin Necas to a two-year, $6 million contract and said Tuesday that new acquisition Max Pacioretty will have surgery for a torn Achilles tendon and face a six-month recovery.
The team announced Necas’ deal and Pacioretty’s injury Tuesday.
The contract will pay the 23-year-old Necas $2.5 million next season and $3.5 million for the 2023-24 season. That keeps the young forward with the franchise that picked him in the first round of the 2017 draft.
Necas is regarded as a key piece for the team’s future with speed and skill. But he was inconsistent last season while finishing with 14 goals and 26 assists, then couldn’t find the net in Carolina’s 14 playoff games.
“I’ve got to help the team more, got to produce way more,” Necas said in June after the Hurricanes’ second straight second-round playoff loss. “That’s what everyone kind of expects from me. I didn’t do it this year. so like I said it was disappointing for me.”
Still, Carolina is betting on Necas’ long-term potential.
“We’ve got to find a way to punch through (in the playoffs),” coach Rod Brind’Amour said in June, “and I think Marty obviously has the potential to help us do that.”
Necas, who was a restricted free agent, has 45 goals in 203 NHL games with Carolina.
The Hurricanes acquired the 33-year-old Pacioretty in July from Vegas for future considerations due to the Golden Knights’ salary-cap crunch. The six-time 30-goal scorer filled a need for a team looking for more output to a forward group led by young talents like Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen.
The Hurricanes did not provide any details on how or when Pacioretty was hurt. Messages left with the team and Pacioretty’s agent were not immediately returned.
The Hurricanes have made the playoffs for four consecutive seasons after a nine-year drought, though have fallen in the second round in each of the past two seasons despite winning a division title.
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