Just one year after signing Jake Gardiner to a four-year contract, the Carolina Hurricanes may be looking to move on from the defenseman.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Hurricanes have been looking at what options they have, in terms of dealing Gardiner. It doesn’t come as much of a surprise, based on the deadline deal for Brady Skjei and the fact Jake Bean will likely step into a role with the Hurricanes next season.
However, the current market could make dealing Gardiner a more difficult task than anticipated. Top players are getting short-term deals, teams won’t take on bad contracts with even with assets attached and everyone is very cautious about where they’re spending their money. On top of this, Gardiner also has a seven team no-trade list, which doesn't make things easier.
Before, I would have said Gardiner could have fetched a mid-round pick, even after a down year. He still managed 24 points in 68 games in a more limited role and ended the year strong, with 16 points in his final 28 games of the regular season. His contract is also reasonable, with three years remaining at a $4.05 million AAV.
After seeing the market, however, I’m not so sure that the Hurricanes would really be able to get something in the neighbourhood of a third-round pick. Looking at what the market is like at the moment, I think this could end up being similar to the Olli Maatta trade, where if a team is willing to take Gardiner, they can have him. Chicago did have to retain some salary to move Maatta but hopefully that wouldn’t be the case for the Hurricanes.
I do still think that Carolina should be able to deal Gardiner before the end of the offseason but it’s not as straightforward as it may have been before. As long as the Hurricanes are able to move him to clear cap space, regardless of the return, Don Waddell has done his job.
***NOTE: We've launched a HockeyBuzz Hurricanes Twitter account! For anyone interested, you can follow @HB_Canes for updates on articles, Hurricanes news, etc. We're starting right from scratch, so any followers would be appreciated!***
Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
Do you think the Hurricanes will be able to move Jake Gardiner in the offseason?