October11, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes defensemen Ron Hainsey (65) knocks the puck away from Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar (11) at PNC Center. The Kings defeated the Hurricanes 2-1 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
When it was announced Joni Pitkanen would miss the entire 2013-14 season, the Canes turned to free agent Hainsey, signing him to a one-year/$2 million deal.
Hainsey was thrown on the second pairing with Brett Bellemore and helped the young defenseman transition into the NHL, even if Bellemore was a healthy scratch last night.
The 32-year-old has two goals this season, including the game-winner against the Maple Leafs, but he has made up for Pitkanen’s loss in a different way.
Hainsey has played close to 20 minutes a game each night. With Andrej Sekera and Justin Faulk also playing those types of minutes, the Canes have a steady defenseman on the ice nearly the whole game.
Hainsey should also see some more playing time on the power-play with Tim Gleason close to a return.
Wes Herrmann is a senior at Penn State majoring in print journalism with a focus on sports journalism. He is the editor of Cardiac Cane and formerly wrote at The Hockey Writers. Contact him at [email protected] or on Twitter.