Hainsey was signed to a one-year/$2 million deal and should report to training camp within the next few days.
The 32-years-old has played for the Winnipeg Jets/Atlanta Thrashers franchise for the past five years after becoming a herald offensive defenseman with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
While with the Jets/Thrashers, Hainsey’s best year came in 2008-09 when he recorded 39 points. Since then, he has seen a drop in production, recording 13 points last season.
But Hainsey is also responsible in his own end and can log a heavy amount of minutes, while also creating a smooth transition game. Those assets will replace Pitkanen. However, Hainsey is an inconsistent player and does not use his body (6-3) to his advantage.
This signing likely means Ryan Murphy will not make the team, but it does give the Canes an experienced six defensemen on the roster. Hainsey could possibly play with Justin Faulk as both are two-way defensemen that can play a ton of minutes.
Originally, I did not want Hainsey on the Canes team and would rather have Tom Gilbert, but at $2 million for just this season, the Hainsey signing should be fine.
The Canes still have about $7 million to work with once Pitkanen goes on LTIR, so the Canes may not be done making moves.