Hurricanes add Melichar from Swedish Elite League

The Sports Network

7/2/2008 11:38:56 AM

Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - The Carolina Hurricanes continued to reshape their defense, signing Josef Melichar to a one-year contract Wednesday.

Melichar, who played last year in the Swedish Elite League, is slated to earn $1 million for the upcoming season.

The 29-year-old Czech last played in the NHL two seasons ago for the Pittsburgh Penguins, racking up 12 points in 70 games.

"Josef is a big, strong and experienced defensive defenseman who will be a shut-down player for us," said Hurricanes president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Melichar was a third-round draft choice of the Pens in 1997. In 310 games with the franchise from 2000-07, he has registered seven goals, 40 points and 263 penalty minutes.

The move comes a day after the club dealt popular forward Erik Cole to the Edmonton Oilers for oft-maligned defenseman Joni Pitkanen.