On Monday afternoon, the Carolina Hurricanes announced that they had signed veteran defenseman Tim Gleason to a new 4-year contract extension, reported to be worth $16 million in total, a $4 million per year cap hit.
Gleason, 29, was set to become an unrestricted free agent in the Summer, which made him the centre of plenty of trade rumours out of Carolina, possibly as a rental player, but with a new deal in place, this pretty much assures his presence on the Hurricanes blueline for the next four seasons.
Gleason is having a pretty good season with the Hurricanes, personally, as the team falters in the standings. As of the start of Week Eighteen, Gleason has 1 goal and 13 assists for 14 points in 51 games this year, ranking him 77th among all defensemen in scoring. By no means are they fantastic numbers, but they are still pretty good. Gleason's physical play and strong defense are also good selling points, which justifies (to a point) his significant pay raise.
The Hurricanes are in pretty good shape against the salary cap for the 2013 season, as they have plenty of regulars signed on for reasonable cap values, keeping the overall total fairly low. With 15 regulars signed (eight forwards, five defensemen and a goaltending duo), the Hurricanes are looking at a projected total of $36.8 million for next season and that doesn't include a number of players that have made an appearance with the club this season, as there is no guarantee they will make the team in 2013.
There are very few immediate implications to either of the pools, as he wasn't taken in the draft, nor was he included on the selection sheet. His signing does come at a good time, especially for his numbers, as he would be considered draft-worthy this year in 77th among defensemen and with the waiver draft upon us at the moment, he might be worth a pick-up, especially if there are injury problems to correct.