RALEIGH — The Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday signed their second pending restricted free agent in nine days, agreeing on a new two-year, $4 million contract with forward Jordan Martinook, the team announced. The deal will cost $2 million annually against the salary cap.
Martinook, 26, was acquired from the Arizona Coyotes last May, along with a fourth-round pick, in exchange for center Marcus Kruger and a third-round pick. In his first season the Hurricanes, Martinook has 10 goals — one shy of his career high — and three assists for 13 points through 50 games.
Martinook has also been a big addition in the locker room, both as a positive influence on the team’s younger players — most notably rookie Andrei Svechnikov — and for his high-energy play and infectiously positive attitude.
“Jordan has really fit in well with our group and provides veteran leadership both on and off the ice,” Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said in a press release. “He skates with a relentless energy that epitomizes the way Coach (Rod) Brind’Amour wants the Hurricanes to play.”
Martinook had received even more good news over the weekend when his wife, Courtney, gave birth to their son, Chase.
Martinook has 36 goals and 42 assists for 78 points in 297 career games with the Coyotes and Hurricanes. He scored his first career hat trick on Nov. 23 in Carolina’s 4-1 home win over the Panthers and has averaged 14:42 of ice time with the Hurricanes this season, including 1:44 on the penalty kill. Martinook is the final year of a two-year contract that paid him an average of $1.8 million annually.
The signing comes a little more than a week after Carolina inked Teuvo Teravainen to a new five-year, $27 million contract.
The team’s biggest contract concerns are now fellow pending RFA Sebastian Aho and Micheal Ferland, who will be an unrestricted free agent for the first time on July 1.
Aho is poised to become the team’s highest-paid player and negotiations with the team are ongoing but not time-sensitive.
Ferland, however, has been involved in trade rumors after the two sides balked at their competing offers. The Hurricanes would probably max out at paying Ferland $25 million over five years, while the 26-year-old winger is looking for something closer to the seven-year, $49 million contract the Sharks gave Evander Kane last May.
Given the contract impasse, Ferland has become a candidate to be traded ahead of the Feb. 25 NHL trade deadline. The Hurricanes’ reported asking price has been a first round pick and a prospect.