Unrestricted free agent defenseman Tim Gleason agreed to terms with the Carolina Hurricanes on a one-year, $1.2 million contract, the team announced Thursday.

Gleason spent part of eight seasons with the Hurricanes before being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 1 for defenseman John-Michael Liles. The Maple Leafs bought out the final two years of Gleason's contract earlier this week.

Gleason had one goal and five points in 39 games for the Maple Leafs after having one assist in 17 games with the Hurricanes last season.

The Hurricanes also came to terms on a one-year deal with right wing Jared Staal.

Staal will receive $550,000 at the NHL level, or $65,000 at the American Hockey League level during the 2014-15 season.

The 23-year-old Staal appeared in 50 games with the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL last season. He notched two goals and five assists.

--- Longtime NHL player Alex Kovalev officially announced his retirement.

Kovalev, 41, won the Stanley Cup in 1994 with the New York Rangers and most recently played in the NHL for the Florida Panthers during the 2012-13 season. He spent last season playing with Swiss second-tier team EHC Visp and organizing hockey camps in the region.

According to the International Ice Hockey Federation website, Kovalev cited injuries for his decision to retire.

"I'd have loved to play until I'm 50 but the injuries from the last few seasons don't let me continue my career," Kovalev told TV station Kanal9 at a hockey camp in Leukerbad, Switzerland. "It's a hard decision for me but it is what it is. It was my last season."

---The Buffalo Sabres signed defenseman Tyson Strachan to a one-year contract, the team announced.

Strachan (6-foot-3, 215 pounds) appeared in 18 games with the Washington Capitals in 2013-14, recording two assists and 28 penalty minutes. He spent the majority of the season with Hershey of the American Hockey League, appearing in 60 games and tallying 19 points (4 goals, 15 assists) and 56 penalty minutes.

---The New York Rangers announced the signing of free agent forward Nick Tarnasky. Terms of the deal were not released.

Tarnasky, 29, skated in 76 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League last season, registering 13 goals and nine assists, along with 144 penalty minutes.

He established a career-high and led Hamilton in games played. Tarnasky also led Hamilton in penalty minutes and tied for fifth on the team in goals and power play goals (four). He skated in his 300th career AHL game on Oct. 26 and tallied his 100th career AHL point with an assist on Dec. 28 at Utica.

--- The Ottawa Senators re-signed forward David Dziurzynski to a two-year, two-way contract, the team announced.

Dziurzynski, 24, played in 68 games with the American Hockey League's Binghamton Senators this past season, scoring a career-high 13 goals while adding 12 assists.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound forward also recorded 91 penalty minutes. He played in all four of Binghamton's playoff games, adding one assist and four penalty minutes.

---The Toronto Maple Leafs signed center Petri Kontiola to a one-year, $1.1 million contract, according to reports Thursday.

Kontiola had 15 goals and 37 points in 53 games with Traktor Chelyabinsk in the Kontinental Hockey League last season, and nine points in 10 games as Finland won the silver medal at the 2014 IIHF World Championship. He also had five points in six games to help Finland win the bronze medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Sportsnet reported Kontiola had to negotiate a buyout of his KHL contract before signing with the Maple Leafs.

---The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed unrestricted free agent forward Zach Sill to a one-year, two-way contract worth $550,000 at the NHL level, the team announced.

Sill, 26, made his NHL debut last season, and was scoreless with 14 shots on goal in 20 regular-season games. He averaged 10:47 of ice time per game, and had 57 hits and 18 blocked shots.

Sill also had three goals and six points in 18 regular-season games with the Penguins' American Hockey League affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, and three points in 17 Calder Cup playoff games.

---Free agent forward Radim Vrbata signed a two-year contract with the Vancouver Canucks, the team announced.