Tim Gleason got a belated birthday present today as the Hurricanes re-signed the defenseman to a 4-year, $16 million deal. Gleason is currently in his 8th season in the league and was long rumored to be traded before the trade deadline late next month. The press release from the team is below:
RALEIGH, NC – 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, 29, is in his eighth NHL season and sixth with the Hurricanes, and currently leads all Hurricanes defensemen in hits (87), plus/minus (+2) and total minutes played (1,063). He ranks second among Carolina blueliners in assists (13) and penalty minutes (44), and third in points (14), skating in all 51 games for the team this season.
Originally acquired from the Los Angeles Kings along with Eric Belanger in exchange for Oleg Tverdovsky and Jack Johnson, Gleason has totaled 86 points (13g, 73a) and 416 penalty minutes in 401 games with the Hurricanes. The Clawson, MI, native has led Carolina defensemen in hits each of the past four seasons (2007-08 to 2010-11), ranking fifth among NHL defensemen in hits last season. A first-round selection (23rd overall) of the Ottawa Senators in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Gleason (6’0”, 217 lbs.) played his 500th NHL game on Nov. 27 at Ottawa, and has totaled 15 goals, 99 assists (114 points) and 514 penalty minutes in 526 career NHL games with Los Angeles and Carolina.
This certainly is a relief to many fans of Gleason’s, as many feared he would be one of the first defensemen to be moved. It also creates an interesting situation next year for the Canes’ defense, as there are now 5 defensemen signed next year, not including restricted free agent Jamie McBain.