Hurricanes hang on to surprise goalie Mrazek

The Carolina Hurricanes hung on to the goaltender who helped save their season, Petr Mrazek, with a two-year, $6.25 million contract Monday.

After signing Scott Darling did not solve the Hurricanes' void in goal, the team was left scrambling last year. Carolina signed Mrazek to a one-year, $1.5 million deal and then claimed Curtis McElhinney off waivers in October. It looked like another good Carolina team would be derailed by bad goaltending.

But the 26-year-old Mrazek and 36-year-old McElhinney ended up forming a solid duo, and the Hurricanes not only made it into the playoffs, they beat the defending champ Washington Capitals in the first round. Carolina then swept the New York Islanders before losing in the conference finals to the Boston Bruins.

Mrazek made 40 regular-season starts for the Hurricanes, going 23-14-3 with a 2.39 goals-against average and .914 save percentage.

He was the man as the Canes beat the Capitals in seven games, but he suffered a lower body injury in the next series against the Islanders and wasn't as effective. He finished the playoffs with a 5-5 record, 2.73 GAA and .894 save percentage.

After the season, Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said he didn't expect Carolina to be able to sign either goaltender.

McElhinney signed to be the Tampa Bay Lightning's backup Monday.