In his first year as General Manager, Ron Francis provided us with four trades. The Trade Deadline just passed and he possibly could have been more active. As some moves may have been in question, it was not to the extent of his predecessor.
As we know, Francis is no stranger to the Trade Deadline. So without further ado, here is your trade report card, Ronald.
Jay Harrison to the Winnipeg Jets in return for a 2015 sixth-round draft pick:
The first trade is in the record books for the rookie GM. Harrison, at the time, had one goal, three assists, and was a minus-5 for the Hurricanes. Harrison signed a three-year extension that would pay him $1.5 million per season until 2015-2016 back in 2012.
According to NHL Numbers, the Hurricanes are still paying $450,000 of Harrison's salary a year, which expires next summer. In addition, the 'Canes are currently paying a $950,000 portion of Ruutu's salary that ends next July as well. They are only allowed one more deal where they retain a portion of the salary of a player they trade. In this case, it could restrain them from trading players in the future with large-scale contracts.
At the time, there were eight defenseman on the roster- one too many. It made more sense to trade Harrison, save some salary, and get a draft pick than to have two healthy-scratched defenseman. Although they are still paying $450,000 of his salary, they are saving a million.
Jiri Tlusty to the Winnipeg Jets in return for a 2015 conditional 5th or 6th round draft pick and a 2016 third-round draft pick:
Tlusty's anticipated return was a tad higher than what was received. However, with him being a free agent over the summer, he even provided the possibility for a return.
What the point here is the 'Canes managed two draft picks for a player that has a good chance at re-signing in the off-season. Although he showed consistent effort on the ice night in and night out, his statistical performance has been somewhat erratic year to year for a top-6 forward. He’s was a Hurricane since December 3, 2009. Plus, Paul Maurice gets another Hurricane!
Andrej Sekera to the Los Angeles Kings in return for a conditional first-round pick and prospect Roland McKeown:
McKeown, currently playing for the Kingston Frontenacs, was the 50th overall selection in last years NHL Entry Draft. He was also chosen 2nd overall in the OHL Priority Selection draft in 2012, one selection behind Connor McDavid. The 19-year-old defenseman totaled 11goals, 32 assists, for 43 points in his 2013-2014 campaign and has also made international appearances for team Canada in the 2013 and 2014 World Junior Championships.
Sekera is, without a doubt, a top pairing defenseman, which he verified playing alongside Justin Faulk this season. The Hurricanes were able to acquire him for a bargain sending Jamie McBain and a second-round pick in the Sabres direction.
Unlike Tlusty, it is doubtful we will see Sekera back in a Hurricanes Uniform next season. He’s coming off of a four-year $11 million contract with a $2.75 million cap-hit. With his ascent of value over the past several seasons, it does not look like the Hurricanes are in the range of his asking price.
The trade included a first-round draft pick as well as a promising young prospect.
Tim Gleason to the Washington Capitals for Jack Hillen and a 2015 fourth-round draft pick:
For the second time in two seasons Tim Gleason is on the move again. Gleason exited Raleigh with a single goal, six assists, and a minus-18 rating in 55 games. His average ice time was 16:39 per game and has registered 136 hits this season.
Hillen will receive more ice time in Carolina while the veteran defenseman, Gleason, will assist the Capitals in a playoff run. Both players are UFA's this off-season.
Hillen’s size could come into question. The Hurricanes are not necessarily a team that needs to downgrade the size of their players. Nonetheless, his style of play is relentless and is known for his signature hip checks.
Although there is a demotion of size, Gleason played at a slower pace, east-west game, while Hillen should have no problem keeping up with Peters’ system.
Jay McClement signs two-year extension:
Some might consider it a surprise to find out Jay McClement was not traded. Rumors speculated the pending UFA this off-season would be a valuable target at the deadline. However, the 32-year-old center agreed to a two-year, $2.4 million contract March 1, 2015.
"Jay has played really well for us on the ice and been a real good guy for us in the locker room," Francis said told the News and Observer. "He’s been good on draws and a big part of our penalty killing. He’s just the consummate pro and has been a good role model for our younger guys in the way he takes care of himself and the way he prepares for games."
McClement has been a valuable part of the fourth-line’s success while also filling voids on other lines when needed. He as 6 goals, 19 assists, and is a plus-3.
The Hurricanes are the only NHL team to not have traded away any of their original 2015 entry draft selections. They also managed to obtain three additional picks and a possible fourth depending whether or not the Los Angeles Kings make the playoffs this season. Francis was able to free up some cap room this season and has $7.5 million to spare at the moment.
Overall, Francis’ mother would be content with the grades he made with a "You probably could have done a better, but I’m proud of you," statement.