Jake Gardiner has finally cut a deal and it’s not with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The 29-year-old defenseman has signed a 4-year deal with the Carolina Hurricanes. The contract has an AAV of $4,050,000 a season – the same as his last contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, minus some bonuses here or there.
Update: here is a breakdown of Gardiner’s contract;
Gardiner’s contract soaks up 4.97% of Carolina’s Cap Hit and Carolina has hit the upper limit of the cap hit.
This could mean a trade in Carolina’s future. They have 24 guys on roster and are $1.55 million over the hit, it has so be done. The team is stacked with defensemen, including Gardiner, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Hurricanes send out a defenseman.
Justin Faulk could be the odd man out. He’s got 1 year left on his $4,833,333 contract with a modified no-trade clause in place that includes 15 teams. The 27-year-old has 8 years on NHL experience and has never been traded but management could be looking to shake things up. If Carolina has talked with other teams about Faulk, the guy is likely on his way out.
Another player that could be on the chopping block should Carolina decide to keep Faulk. 28-year-old defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk. TVR has played 2 years in Carolina and has one-year left on his contract as well. He has a cap hit of $2,300,000.
Either way, the Hurricanes are looking to get back to the playoffs this season and this time without their leader Justin Williams. It’s clear that the team is not done yet but training camp starts soon. Now is the time.
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