Ron Hainsey has been among the many players involved in trade rumors over the past couple of days for the Carolina Hurricanes, but GM Jim Rutherford and the Carolina Hurricanes need to be smart with the 32-year-old defenseman.
Ron Hainsey was signed on September 12, 2013. He was brought in to be a stopgap for Joni Pitkanen, a player whose career may be over due to a severe heel injury.
My expectations for Ron Hainsey were very low. I expected a top-six defenseman that resembled a less physical Tim Gleason, but I was definitely wrong. Ron Hainsey’s leadership, hockey sense, and ability to play a solid defensive role has been extremely beneficial for the Carolina Hurricanes this season.
He has played a big part in helping Brett Bellemore turn into an NHL defenseman, and has been a great Hurricane in his very short time with the team.
Jim Rutherford cannot let Ron Hainsey turn into another Bryan Allen. Bryan Allen was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes from the Florida Panthers during the 2010-2011 season. Allen formed a dominant shutdown defensive pairing with Tim Gleason through the rest of that season and the 2011-2012 season.
Jim Rutherford had a crucial decision to make at the 2012 NHL trade deadline. The Carolina Hurricanes were out of the playoff race, much like this year, so Rutherford had two choices. Trade him or keep him. He decided to not trade him, so he could keep him and re-sign him.
This seemed like a good decision. Bryan Allen was a great leader and shutdown defenseman for the Carolina Hurricanes, but Jim Rutherford ended up not reaching a deal with Allen, so he ended up signing with the Anaheim Ducks.
Ron Hainsey brings a lot more to the Carolina Hurricanes, in my opinion. Jim Rutherford needs to find out if Ron Hainsey wants to stay with the Carolina Hurricanes. If he does, the Hurricanes absolutely should re-sign him. If he does not want to stay with the team, they need to get some kind of value out of him while they can.
Jim Rutherford can’t afford another big mistake, and messing up with Ron Hainsey would qualify as a big mistake.