Scratch another player off the arbitration list. The Hurricanes announced that they have re-signed defenseman Haydn Fleury to a two-year deal with a $1.3MM AAV. The two sides were scheduled for a hearing on November 8th. GM Don Waddell released the following statement:
Haydn made a huge leap in his development last season and established himself as an everyday NHL defenseman. He was very dependable late in the regular season and in the playoffs, and we look forward to him continuing his development into an elite NHL defenseman.
The 24-year-old was up with Carolina all season, the first full NHL campaign of his career. However, given the depth that the Hurricanes have, Fleury was limited to 45 regular season games in almost exclusively a number six role. He had four goals and ten assists, numbers that were decent considering he averaged less than 14 minutes per game. However, Fleury was tasked with a bit more ice time in the playoffs, logging over 16 minutes a night while chipping in with a pair of goals in eight games.
That was enough to earn Fleury a small raise in his second trip through restricted free agency after he made $850K this season. Notably, this contract will give him a third and final RFA stint in 2022 as he’ll still be a year shy of being able to hit the open market and he will be arbitration-eligible once again.
Even though Carolina has lost Joel Edmundson (trade with Montreal), Trevor van Riemsdyk (free agency, Washington), and Sami Vatanen (unrestricted free agent), Fleury will still have some work cut out for him to earn a regular spot in the lineup. As things stand, he’s likely to battle with offseason acquisition Joakim Ryan and prospect Jake Bean for the sixth spot on their depth chart. Even with the raise, it’s a reasonable price tag for a player that still has some upside but may still have to spend some time in the press box.
Waddell still has some work to do in the short term though as Warren Foegele is still in need of a contract with an arbitration hearing scheduled for November 4th. Following this signing, Carolina has about $3MM in cap space to work with and a good chunk of that will be going to the winger.
Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic was the first to report the deal.