The Carolina Hurricanes signed defensive center Jay McClement to a one-year, $1 million contract on Wednesday.
They made no mistake about it: they’re getting him to do the dirty work, like winning faceoffs:
“Jay is a veteran centerman who is proficient in the faceoff circle,” Hurricanes GM Ron Francis said. “He’ll also provide elements of consistency and leadership for our club.”
In a lot of ways, the 31-year-old center is basically a replacement for Manny Malhotra. Both are strong in the dot and tend to start the majority of their shifts in the defensive zone, with mixed results.
McClement won the 26th-most faceoffs in the NHL last season, going 676-584 for a very nice 53.4 percent success rate. Malhotra won 59.4 percent, though he took fewer faceoffs and carries some obvious injury risks.
It’s not the type of move that will make or break Carolina’s season, obviously. Guys like these are signed with the hopes of soaking up difficult assignments and limiting the damage. The ‘Canes are banking on McClement accomplishing that next season.