Gragnani burst onto the scene in 2010-2011 with an impressive playoff performance. During the past season he played more and more poorly on the defensive side until he lost his roster spot outright. What was once a promising offensive defenseman was quickly out the door for an NHL journeyman.
Gragnani sputtered in Vancouver as well. He didn't suit up for a single post-season game and only managed 3 points in 14 games. Despite all of this Gragnani did receive 1 vote for the Calder Trophy (Why? No one knows). Gragnani, who was making close to the veteran minimum last season, was not qualified by Vancouver and became an unrestricted free agent.
Grags signed with the Carolina Hurricanes and will look to rebuild his career. Carolina is a good fit for the offensive d-man. Carolina has a lot of defensive defensemen, but outside of Joe Corvo, not too many offensively minded blueliners. They have some you depth players that Gragnani could supplant with improved play. Gragnani also, somewhat surprisingly, received a hefty raise from Carolina and would be paid $800,000 at the NHL level, which shows that Carolina expects him to make an NHL impact.
Grags is back to a two-way deal, but is far from out of the NHL. He will likely be a journeyman for the rest of his career, but may still have some NHL time in front of him.