The Carolina Hurricanes have a good problem on their hands – Tim Gleason is returning from injury, meaning eight NHL defenseman are now on the roster.
With so many defensemen and some trouble scoring, should the Hurricanes consider moving one of the d-men for some scoring help up front?
I think they should at least consider it. With Gleason returning; a logjam has been created on the backend.
For one, the current defensive partners have created some good chemistry, practically playing with each other since the start of the season.
Brett Bellemore has been playing great over the past few games and taking him out of the lineup to sit in the pressbox and not improve doesn’t make sense.
Ryan Murphy has slowed down his stellar play at the beginning of the season, but taking out arguably the team’s best offensive defenseman could create some huge problems.
The next choice to scratch for Gleason would be Jay Harrison. The 31-year-old hasn’t played great, but hasn’t played bad either. But most of that is Kirk Muller playing Harrison the right amount of minutes.
Last season, Harrison was playing over 20 minutes a game in all situations. This year he’s back down to the 15-minute mark with time on the penalty kill, which is more where he belongs.
Harrison has also been a good partner with Murphy, helping to fix some of the rookie’s mistakes.
But one could argue Gleason would be a better partner for Murphy. After all, Gleason and Harrison are similar players, with Gleason possessing more ability in the defensive end.
That would make Harrison a trade possibility for the Hurricanes. The Oshawa native makes a reasonable $1.4 million and could help a team’s bottom pairing, but likely wouldn’t fetch a big return in a trade.
There’s always the possibility of trading Gleason also, but the 30-year-old has a no-trade-clause and is making $4 million a season, but would still have more trade value than Harrison.
On the other hand, with all the injuries the Hurricanes have suffered this season, is it really a bad thing to have a couple extra NHL defensemen?
Probably not, but if the money can be spent better elsewhere, it may make more sense for the Canes.