The NHL’s trade deadline is Wednesday, April 3. Following is a player that may be moved. For more “Trade Bait,” click here.
The club has reportedly put the 25-year-old defenseman in play — so, what’s his deal?
McBain’s spent his entire pro career with the ‘Canes after they took him 63rd overall at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He scored 30 points in 76 games during the 2010-11 season and 27 points in 76 games last year, all while averaging just over 19 minutes per game.
This season, he has 1G-5A-6PTS in 26 games — again, averaging around 19 minutes a night — but has struggled at times.
(Highlighted by this egregious gaffe against Winnipeg.)
What’s interesting is that, last May, the club gave McBain a two-year, $3.6 million extension that runs through the 2013-14 season.
“Jamie is still a very young player who has established himself as an NHL defenseman,” Carolina GM Jim Rutherford said at the time. “He moves the puck well and has shown that he can contribute offensively, especially on the power play.”
So, why’s he available?
It could be that McBain’s a moveable asset. Or, there could be buyer’s remorse.
On defense, the ‘Canes have Joni Pitkanen, Tim Gleason, Joe Corvo (who played a season-high 25:11 against Winnipeg on Saturday), Jay Harrison, Brett Bellemore and Bob Sanguinetti (currently on IR) in the mix, with minutes leader Justin Faulk (MCL sprain) to return in mid-to-late April.
The club also has 2011 first-rounder Ryan Murphy in the system. The club thinks highly of Murphy, and he was given nearly 24 minutes in ice time in his NHL debut on Feb. 21.
As a result, McBain could simply be the odd man out in Carolina, yet promising enough for another club to give the ‘Canes something interesting in return.