Just when you thought the Carolina Hurricanes turned a corner by naming Ron Francis as GM in place of the avocado with a pen, Jim Rutherford, they prove us all wrong.
In a completely baffling move, the Hurricanes re-signed defenseman Tim Gleason to a one-year, $1.2 million contract. Gleason, as you may remember, was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for John-Michael Liles. This was done on account of Gleason being a complete waste of a uniform and a liability to the team every time he touched the ice. Since then, the Hurricanes have gone all-in on the defensive end.
New head coach Bill Peters has made no secret of his desire to bulk the team up, and this is evidenced in the first-round draft pick Haydn Fleury. Carolina is not for want of defense at this point. With Liles still being a thing for the time being and Justin Faulk flaunting his new multi-year deal, things seem to be on the up and up.
Honestly, a team will never be in a place where they can pass on a bulkier back end. It’s like saying you’ve had enough free cable. But dipping back into the well of Gleason? Come on now.
Under Rutherford, the Hurricanes had a nasty habit of recycling players. Send them away, let them do well for another team, then bring them back so they can return to awful play. See Erik Cole for this. The habit of recycling was one of the chief complaints fans had about Rutherford and is a huge factor as to why Francis was hailed as the team’s savior. Bringing in Peters as head coach was step one in this process of purging the Rutherford insanity. He’s new, he’s never coached in Carolina and it showed Francis was looking outside the walls of PNC Arena.
However, that’s not so anymore.
Re-signing Gleason is likely to backfire. He is not the direction in which Carolina needs to be moving. He’s a fighter bordering on being a full-on goon. He spends so much time in the penalty box that Amazon delivers his orders there. His brand of play might work elsewhere, but it’s just not a good fit with where the Hurricanes need to be heading. More to the point, however, is he’s been here. He’s old news. What the fans have been screaming out for in unison is for the team to stop recycling players. Every other team in the NHL is signing new players from outside the hypothetical family.
Yet for the grace goes Carolina, who operates on the Microsoft philosophy that if something doesn’t work, you shove harder on the square peg until the round hole just breaks completely. Bringing Gleason back is a horrific idea and should put a fright into every fan that the days of player recycling have not left the building just yet.