A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Tanabe back in the fold

On Saturday morning, the Hurricanes came to terms with defenseman David "Snuggles" Tanabe on a two-year two-way contract. Tanabe will be joining the team for the third time in his career and should be available for tonight's conference tilt with the Washington Capitals.

Tanabe will earn $600K this year at the NHL level and $900K next year. At the AHL level, he would earn $100k each year.

Tanabe was maligned early last season for being "soft" and "lazy". He was often referred to on this page as "Avi" (David minus the D) and was the target of much criticism from fans. In the second half of the season, he really turned it on, though, and became one of the most dependable blueliners on the team. There was speculation that he had been playing hurt early on and was a bit timid with respect to physical play.

I was surprised that the free agency period came and went and Tanabe didn't get picked up by anybody. He was rumored to be in the Canes training camp, but never was. He showed up at the Blues camp, but was released in the final cuts.

"Snuggles" registered 17 (5/12) points last season, the bulk of them coming in the second half. He had two power play goals and finished the season with a +5 rating.

Bret Hedican is out with an "illness". Although he looked good on Wednesday, I still think he should retire. Mike Commodore played with a deep contusion on his leg Friday night. Props to him for that. There was some talk of calling up one of the boys from Albany. This move sure sounds like it's more than a stopgap thing.

My guess is that we'll hear something about Hedican within a couple of days.

This isn't a blockbuster move, but this is a hell of a good deal on a veteran defenseman who is still young. Pending his physical and approval by the NHL, Tanabe will be availabe tonight in our nation's capital.

He will wear his old familiar #45.

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