The Carolina Hurricanes have come to terms on a one-year contract with unrestricted free agent defenseman Ron Hainsey, the team announced on Thursday afternoon. Hainsey will account for $2 million against the salary cap.
Hainsey spent the last five seasons as a member of the Winnipeg Jets franchise after he signed a five-year, $22.5 million contract with the Atlanta Thrashers as an unrestricted free agent in 2008. In 47 games during the 2013 season, Hainsey averaged 22:52 of ice time per game and registered 13 points (all assists).
Many wondered why Hainsey remained a free agent for such an extended period of time. Some have even questioned whether his position with the NHL Players' Association during the collective bargaining negotiations "blackballed" him among the league's 30 teams.
Ultimately, that's no longer an issue since Hainsey has since found employment.
Carolina's decision to sign Hainsey comes one day removed from the club announcing that Joni Pitkanen would miss the entire 2013-14 season due to a broken heel he sustained last season. It has been reported that Pitkanen's injury is so severe that it might end his career.