Sitting 10 points out and last in the Eastern Conference, the Carolina Hurricanes are expected to be sellers as the trade deadline approaches. But like any yard sale, every item has its asking price. You might think a porcelain Dalmatian is worth less than the sellers do; thing is, the sellers don't really want to get rid of it.
Such is the case with defenseman Tim Gleason and the Carolina Hurricanes, who agreed on a new contract on Monday. From the Canes:
Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has signed defenseman Tim Gleason to a four-year contract extension. The deal will pay Gleason $3.5 million in 2012-13, $4.5 million in 2013-14 and 2014-15 and $3.5 million in 2015-16.
"We thank Tim for choosing to stay with the Hurricanes long term," said Rutherford. "He is one of our core players, someone who brings character and leadership to our locker room, along with being a key piece on the ice. This is a very important signing for our team going forward."
Gleason was set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, and his name was at the top of the shopping list for teams like the Philadelphia Flyers.
But GM Jim Rutherford was asking for a bit much — the Ottawa Sun reported that the Hurricanes wanted "either two No. 1 picks or an 'A' prospect and a No. 1 pick in exchange for one of pending UFA Ds Tim Gleason, Bryan Allen or Jaroslav Spacek."
He's a bruising, shutdown defenseman in a league that doesn't have enough of them. If you're a Hurricanes fan stressing on the $4 million cap hit, up from $2.75 million, don't fret; this is around his open-market value, depending on the number of suitors.
So instead of rebuilding by trading Gleason, the Hurricanes will build around him. Which should tell you how Rutherford sees this roster: Not as an irredeemable mess that needs its core blown up, but one that just needs to swap out some parts.
"Parts" in this case probably being Bryan Allen, due for free agency and making $3.15 million this season.