Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jake Gardiner will have back and hip surgery and will be placed on long-term injured reserve, general manager Don Waddell announced today. The announcement comes less than 24 hours after the team exceeded the salary cap’s Upper Limit by signing Jesperi Kotkaniemi to a one-year, $6.1MM offer sheet.
Gardiner’s career as a Hurricane hasn’t been smooth since signing a four-year, $16.2MM contract in free agency on September 6, 2019. The 31-year-old Minnesota native has played in just 94 games over the past two seasons, missing time due to a combination of injuries and healthy scratches. He’s posted just four goals and 32 points in that time. The timeline of Gardiner’s injury isn’t known at this present moment, but his placement on LTIR confirms that he won’t be ready for the start of the season.
Even when healthy, Gardiner’s been utilized mostly in a third-pairing role, sitting behind Jaccob Slavin and Brady Skjei on the depth chart. Still a skilled offensive play driver, his all-around game has dipped since arriving in Carolina. Still, with a large hole to fill due to Dougie Hamilton’s departure, Carolina could have used Gardiner’s offensive skills on the blueline.
Carolina presently sits at $1.5MM over the salary cap upper limit of $81.5MM. With Gardiner’s $4.05MM cap hit heading to LTIR, Carolina will have up to $2.55MM in usable cap space to fill while Gardiner is on long-term injured reserve.
All salary cap data via CapFriendly.com.
Probably due to getting turned around so much by opposition wingers.
comment of the day
Mr Playoff Choker.
It’s amazing to me how guys wait to get surgery. I don’t know if it’s a hope of rest will heal things or if it’s a matter of reducing regular season games.
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Most doctors recommend surgery as a last resort, after all it is surgery. So they try less invasive measures first.
LTIR probably plays a factor with both sides.
Everyone taking advantage of LTIR after the Tampa Bay lightning sham last year.
And will continue to do so until the new cba.
Much like the longterm contracts with lower AAV wrte taken advantage of before that was fixed
So you equate playing by the rules to a sham? Bitter much? Blackhawks did same in 2015 with Kane. Sounds like smart management and stupid fan boy.
Yeah everyone is taking advantage after last year. Like teams haven’t been taking advantage of LTIR for years. The only difference is that the Lightning were a good enough team overall to win
wow, cap space like magic!
And people really thought Waddell wasnt prepared for adding KK’s cap hit lol.
His all around game hasn’t dipped since arriving in Carolina. It’s just not conceivable for some that Carolina signed him to that deal without realizing the decline was well underway. But they did, and it was.