The Carolina Hurricanes moved quickly to fill the void left by injured defenseman Joni Pitkanen.

A day after ruling Pitkanen out for the season the Canes signed free-agent defenseman Ron Hainsey on Thursday to a one-year $2 million contract.

Hainsey 32 has played the past two seasons with the Winnipeg Jets after three seasons in Atlanta with the Thrashers before the team’s relocation to Canada. He’s no stranger to the Canes after many matchups in the now-defunct Southeast Division.

“He’s an experienced NHL player who can play good minutes for us 20 to 22 a game” general manager Jim Rutherford said. “He’s also a very good shot blocker and penalty killer. This is a very good signing for us.”

Hainsey’s signing was announced soon after the Hurricanes put in their first on-ice practices of preseason training camp at PNC Arena. The workouts were intense with a number of one-on-one and two-on-two battles.

“It was a good pace a good practice and hopefully it keeps getting amped up every day” Canes captain Eric Staal said.

Pitkanen suffered a broken heel bone last season and has not recovered. The Finn annually was one of the NHL leaders in minutes played per game.

Rutherford said the Canes were interested in signing Hainsey before learning Pitkanen would be unable to play. There had been ongoing discussions with Hainsey and his agent.

“Now with Joni’s situation which we weren’t expecting we’re able to fill that gap with someone who has a lot of experience” Rutherford said. “I’m glad he was patient and he waited.”

Hainsey was very active with the NHL Players Association in the negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement which was approved in January. An unrestricted free agent he remained unsigned after free agency began July 5 and speculation mounted that his involvement in the CBA process may have soured the interest of some general managers in the league.

“I really don’t know” Hainsey said Thursday. “No one outwardly said that. Of course no one is going to tell you that.