A day after announcing that Joni Pitkanen would miss the 2013-14 season due to a left heel injury, the Hurricanes acted by signing veteran defenseman Ron Hainsey to fill his spot on the Carolina blue line. Hainsey, 32, had discussed joining the Canes this summer, and the news that Pitkanen would miss the year led to Carolina pulling the trigger on a one-year, $2 million deal.
Hainsey — who is now currently the oldest player on the Carolina roster — spent the last five seasons with Winnipeg/Atlanta, logging more than 21 minutes a night four out of five seasons with the organization. He also played a vital role in CBA negotiations as part of the NHLPA’s negotiating team. New teammate Kevin Westgarth was also very active in those negotiations.
Hainsey was the 13th overall pick in the 2000 draft by Montreal and has 591 games of NHL experience in eight NHL seasons but has never played in the postseason. In that time he has 34 goals and 158 assists for 192 points. Hainsey is mobile for his size (6'3, 210 pounds) and capable of logging big minutes, but isn't known for being physical and is a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none type tat won't replace Pitkanen’s offensive abilities but should help supply stability to Carolina’s defense corps.
Here is the release from the Hurricanes.
HURRICANES AGREE TO TERMS WITH RON HAINSEY
Veteran defenseman has totaled 192 points in 591 NHL games
RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Ron Hainsey on a one-year contract. The deal will pay Hainsey $2 million.
"Ron is an experienced, two-way defenseman," said Rutherford. "He was very interested in joining our team this summer, and was patient as we waited for updated information about Joni Pitkanen’s injury. We are happy to be able to solidify our defense with a player of this caliber at this stage."
Hainsey, 32, completed his 10th NHL season in 2012-13, earning 13 assists in 47 games for the Winnipeg Jets. The Bolton, CT, native led Winnipeg in blocked shots (123) and was second among Jets defensemen in assists (13).
Selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round, 13th overall, of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Hainsey (6’3", 210 lbs.) has totaled 34 goals and 158 assists (192 points) in 591 career NHL games with Montreal, Columbus, Atlanta and Winnipeg. He has led his teams in blocked shots in three of the past four seasons, ranking second in the other. A product of the United States National Team Development Program, Hainsey spent two seasons at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell prior to turning professional. His career statistics are below.