Ron Francis' signature pen has been getting a workout today. Fresh off signing Chris Terry to a new deal, the Hurricanes kept a potential unrestricted free agent off the market by signing Ron Hainsey to a three year, $8.5 million contract. Hainsey, 33, was the only Canes defenseman to play every game last year, and ate up a ton of ice time while solidifying the Canes' second defensive pairing, mostly alongside Brett Bellemore and John-Michael Liles.
Hainsey joined the team in August of last year after serving as one of the lead NHLPA negotiators during the lockout, and currently is one of five players on the joint NHL/NHLPA competition committee. His signing gives the Canes six NHL defensemen under contract next year, with Mike Komisarek likely to move on and the Canes facing remaining decisions on Bellemore and the injured Joni Pitkanen.
The press release from the team is below.
HURRICANES AGREE TO TERMS WITH RON HAINSEYDefenseman agrees to three-year pact after playing all 82 games in 2013-14
RALEIGH, NC - Ron Francis, Executive Vice 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 three-year contract. The deal will pay Hainsey $3 million for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons and $2.5 million in 2016-17.
Hainsey, 33, was one of two Hurricanes to play in all 82 games during the 2013-14 season, his first with the team. The Bolton, CT, native totaled four goals and 11 assists (15 points) for Carolina, his best scoring totals since the 2010-11 season. Hainsey (6'3", 201 lbs.) ranked second among Hurricanes in blocked shots (124) and third on the team in ice time per game (21:26) last season, and registered an even or better plus/minus rating in 14 consecutive games from Oct. 28-Nov. 27.
Selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round, 13th overall, of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Hainsey has totaled 207 points (38g, 169a) and 316 penalty minutes in 673 career NHL games with Montreal, Columbus, Atlanta, Winnipeg and Carolina. He notched his 200th career point with an assist on Riley Nash's goal against Nashville on Dec. 2, 2013. A product of the United States National Team Development Program, Hainsey spent two seasons at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell prior to turning professional. He has represented the United States at four major international tournaments: the 2009 IIHF World Championship, 2000 and 2001 World Junior Championships and 1999 U-18 World Junior Championship.