It may be nothing, or it may be the start of a fire sale, but either way, the Carolina Hurricanes beat the holiday trade deadline with a minor deal Thursday afternoon.
The Canes shipped defenseman Jay Harrison to the Winnipeg Jets, receiving a sixth-round pick in the 2015 draft that originally belonged to the Ottawa Senators. Harrison, in his sixth season with the Hurricanes, has endured a miserable start to the season, posting four points in 20 games while suffering two injuries and serving as a healthy scratch on occasion. Harrison averaged a little over 14 minutes per game this season, playing mostly with Tim Gleason and John-Michael Liles on the Canes' third pairing.
Harrison joins a Jets team in turmoil. The injury-riddled Jets lost defenseman Mark Stuart in a fight against Buffalo on Tuesday, the fourth blueliner that the team has lost for an extended period of time. Stuart and Jacob Trouba are expected to be out until February, with Toby Enstrom and Zach Bogosian on the sidelines until mid-January. Harrison joins Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice for the third time in his career, having played under Maurice with the Toronto Maple Leafs before starting his stint with the Hurricanes.
According to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman...
Carolina is retaining approximately 25 per cent of Harrison's salary.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 18, 2014
...which indicates that the Canes will be on the hook for around $375,000 each of the next two seasons.
(Edit: ESPN's Craig Custance puts a more concrete number on Friedman's "approximately":
Told that Carolina is retaining 30 percent of Jay Harrison's salary in trade with Winnipeg.— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) December 18, 2014
...which places the retained salary at $450,000.)
This is the second of Carolina's three allotted retained-salary transactions on the books, joining the approximately $1 million the Canes are paying Tuomo Ruutu to play for the New Jersey Devils. As stipulated in the CBA, the Canes can only retain salary on one additional trade until Ruutu's and Harrison's deals come off the books.
The release from the team is below.
HURRICANES DEAL HARRISON TO WINNIPEG JETSCarolina acquires a sixth-round draft pick for veteran defenseman
Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the Hurricanes have acquired a sixth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for defenseman Jay Harrison. The pick was previously acquired by Winnipeg from Ottawa.
"We thank Jay for his time with the Hurricanes," said Francis. "He represented our organization with class and we wish him and his family nothing but the best."
Harrison, 32, totaled four points (1g, 3a) and a minus-5 rating in 20 games for the Hurricanes this season. The Oshawa, Ont., native played in six seasons for Carolina, notching 68 points (21g, 47a) in 317 games.