Jay Harrison only played 38 games last season for the Carolina Hurricanes but that was a career high for him as he had only previously played a total of 20 games over a three year period for the Maple Leafs.
In our first interview with the defenseman last fall, he made no bones about the strengths of his game:
I'm a big, stay at home defenseman, who can contribute (on offense) when I have to. But I like to take care of my own zone, make good plays, and play solid defense. I like to use my size to my advantage and keep the house clean, so to speak. And stick up for my boys when I can.
Harrison has never been shy about dropping his gloves and he picked up six fighting majors in his relatively short stay with the team. That total was good enough to tie Tim Gleason for the second most on the team. (Tom Kostopoulos had a team high 10). While some have criticized his fighting success, according to HockeyFights.com his record was a respectable two wins, two loses, and two draws.
The Good: Harrison brings a toughness and physical edge the Canes need. He's a defense first, stay at home defenseman who knows his limitations and usually tries to play within his skill level. His pugilism helps keep players like Tim Gleason from having to drop the gloves more often. He works hard and does not take any shifts off.
The Bad: While the defenseman is tough and physical, he sometimes appears to be slow of foot and can be taken advantage of in his own end by quicker forwards. He's not really known as a puck-mover either and should not be counted on to play heavy duty minutes.
The Money: After getting a two-way contract last season, he was given a one-year, one-way contract for $500,000 this season.