Forget the trade rumors—the Carolina Hurricanes have locked up their best defenseman.
Tim Gleason, now in his sixth season with the 'Canes, has signed a four year extension worth $16 million, according to general manager Jim Rutherford. The deal will pay the Clawson, MI native $4 million per year and run through the 2015-16 season.
While the Hurricanes have had one of the worst defenses in the NHL this season—something that has become a bit of a trend in recent history—Gleason has been a major bright spot on his team's blueline, providing leadership and consistency throughout a campaign that can only be described as a nightmare.
Gleason leads Carolina defensemen in hits (87), plus/minus (+2) and time on ice (1,063). He is one of just four 'Canes with a positive plus/minus rating.
“We thank Tim for choosing to stay with the Hurricanes long term,” said Rutherford on Monday. “He is one of our core players, someone who brings character and leadership to our locker room, along with being a key piece on the ice. This is a very important signing for our team going forward.”
Gleason's willingness to sign with the 'Canes in the middle of one of the franchise's worst seasons exemplifies the amount of character he brings to the table. His loyalty has not gone unnoticed, as he will join newly hired head coach Kirk Muller and a plethora of young talent as the 'Canes attempt to right the ship in the coming years.