The Carolina Hurricanes had a vacancy on the left side of their defense after trading Noah Hanifin to Calgary in the deal to bring Dougie Hamilton to Raleigh. To replace Hanifin, the Canes have pulled in one of the top free agent defensemen on the market.
The Hurricanes announced late Tuesday that they have signed former New York Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan to a four-year contract worth $18.2 million, for an average annual value of $4.55 million. “It was a pretty simple decision,” de Haan told the media on a conference call Tuesday night. “I get to play with one of the best young bluelines in the NHL. That to me is very important. I want to be part of the solution here. I feel like I can help this team win.”
De Haan, 27, is coming off a one-year, $3.3 million contract and a season that ended after 33 games due to shoulder surgery in late December. De Haan told the media that his shoulder is fully healed and, in fact, he was playing golf earlier in the day while his agent finalized the deal.
De Haan embraces the challenges presented by signing with a team that’s trying to end a lengthy playoff drought. “Not making the playoffs for nine years sucks, but I want to be part of the solution to make the team better, and help the fans in Raleigh appreciate the Hurricanes,” he said. “I will do my best to help the winning cause and put the Hurricanes and Carolina back on the map.”
The Islanders’ first-round draft pick in 2009, when he was taken 12th overall, de Haan had been a second-pairing mainstay for the Islanders the past four seasons until his shoulder injury. His defense partners have varied over the past three years: Travis Hamonic and Johnny Boychuk three seasons ago, Dennis Seidenberg in 2016-17, and Adam Pelech last season.
Hurricanes GM Don Waddell said that the deal came together rather quickly, making first contact with de Haan’s agent on Sunday when free agency opened. “Monday we had set up some interviews where I talked to Calvin, and Tom Dundon and Rod Brind’Amour talked to him also,” he said. “Once everyone had a chance to talk to him, we understood the kind of person he is, and we made a decision late last night that we would pursue it today, and opened negotiations this morning.”
De Haan is coming to a team that he is largely unfamiliar with, one he described as an “annoying” team to go play against as a defenseman. He comes in only knowing - even in passing - one player: Jeff Skinner, who was his teammate on the Canadian squad at the World Championships in 2017. He was sold on the vision by speaking to the Canes’ braintrust, and he can’t wait to get started.
“At the end of the day I get to play in the NHL for four more seasons,” he said, “and I’m pretty excited about that.”
The release from the team is below.
CANES SIGN DE HAAN TO FOUR-YEAR DEAL
Defenseman has registered 81 points in 304 career NHL games
Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has signed defenseman Calvin de Haan to a four-year, $18.2 million deal.
“Calvin is a solid, puck-moving defenseman who will bring a veteran presence to the blue line,” said Waddell. “He is a strong two-way player who is capable of shutting down opponents’ top lines, and he will help solidify the left side and upgrade our defense.”
De Haan, 27, recorded 12 points (1g, 11a) in 33 games with the NY Islanders last season prior to missing the final 49 games of the season due to a shoulder injury. The 6’1”, 198-pound defenseman set career highs in points (25), goals (5), assists (20) and games played (82) during the 2016-17 season and ranked fourth in the NHL in blocked shots (190). Since the 2013-14 season, de Haan leads Islanders defensemen in blocked shots (687), ranks second in plus/minus (25) and third in games played (303). In addition, he ranks tied for second in the NHL in blocked shots per game (2.3) since 2013-14 (min. 100 GP). The Carp, Ont., native was drafted by the Islanders in the first round, 12th overall, in the 2009 NHL Draft and has registered 81 points (12g, 69a) in 304 career NHL games with the Islanders.
De Haan has represented Canada in a number of international tournaments, winning silver with Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Championship. He also captured silver with Canada at the 2010 and 2011 World Junior Championship and served as an alternate captain for the team in 2011.