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

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Canes, Gleason close to deal.

The N&O is reporting that the Hurricanes are coming awfully close to dotting all the Is and crossing all the Ts on a contract extension with defenseman Tim Gleason.

Gleason, who arrived with Eric "Frenchy" Belanger from Los Angeles in the Jack "effing" Johnson deal, has often been Carolina's best blueliner. That trade had a lot of people scratching their heads and lamenting the fact that the Canes didn't get more. I've been in support of it the whole time, and Gleason's play has been more than enough to justify the trade. People often forget that that trade also involved the WAY overpriced Oleg Tverdovsky. Carolina shed more than $2M in salary with that deal, so that worked out pretty well, too.

"Frenchy" never panned out here and was traded to Nashville, then to Atlanta, then signed out of free agency by Minnesota.

Gleason has been a resounding success in Carolina, and a favorite of hardcore fans. The speculation is that he will double his 2008 salary of $1.175M. He will be well worth it. With Glen Wesley and/or Bret Hedican out of the picture next fall, his role will likely be increased. His game has gotten better every day since joining the Canes. At 25 years old, the native Michigander is still very young, especially by defenseman's standards. He has the potential to blossom into an elite defenseman. He also has a bit of offensive upside as well.

My initial thought was that he would get a "small" raise and be offered a two-year contract. That would take him to the end of his RFA eligibility. If his salary is doubled, as the N&O article suggests, I wouldn't be surprised or upset. However, that kind of money is pretty much predicated upon Hedican and his $2.432M leaving Raleigh.

It seems that both sides are hoping that Timmy stays in Carolina. The only point where the negotiations are getting held up is the length of the contract. If you ask me, I'd say to get him locked in for as long as possible.

Assuming Hedican and Glen Wesley aren't re-signed, Gleason makes four defensemen. German Dennis Seidenberg will probably be re-signed, but they'll need to go to free agency or trade to get at least one more.

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