RALEIGH, NC - Jason Karmanos, Vice President and Assistant General Manager for the 2006 Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with goaltender Craig Kowalski on a one-year contract. The deal will pay Kowalski $450,000 at the NHL level and $50,000 at the American Hockey League level.
"Craig improved his game during the course of last season and provides depth to our organization's goaltending corps," said Karmanos. "He gained valuable experience practicing with the Hurricanes during the postseason and should have a good jump start when training camp rolls around."
Kowalski, 25, started the 2005-06 season with the Florida Everblades, the Hurricanes' ECHL affiliate, and posted a 12-6-0 record, a 2.80 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage in 18 games. After his recall to the AHL's Lowell Lock Monsters, Kowalski (5' 10", 190 lbs.) went 6-11-3 with a 3.38 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage in 20 games. Following the AHL regular season, the Warren, Mich., native joined the Hurricanes as the team's practice and emergencygoaltender as Carolina captured its first Stanley Cup championship.
In 2004-05, his first professional season, Kowalski posted a 2.87 goals-against average and a 13-6-6 record in 27 appearances with the Everblades. In his four-year collegiate career at Northern Michigan, he recorded a 68-49-12 record and a 2.64 goals-against average in 132 games. The Hurricanes selected Kowalski with their seventh pick, 235th overall, in the eighth round of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.
The Carolina Hurricanes will open their 2006-07 regular season on Oct. 4 at the RBC Center against the Buffalo Sabres. For information regarding Hurricanes ticket packages, please call 1-866-NHL-CANES or visit www.CarolinaHurricanes.com.