He wasn’t exactly a big trade target, but cross another name off the deadline list, as the Carolina Hurricanes signed Jay McClement to a two-year contract extension on Sunday.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that the contract is worth $1.2 million per season (thus $2.4 million overall).
The 31-year-old has been hot – in relative terms – lately. He scored two goals on Saturday and has three of his season’s six tallies in the past three games.
Naturally, preventing goals is McClement’s focus instead of producing them.
He currently leads the Hurricanes in shorthanded ice time per game with 2:24. While his zone starts aren’t quite as absurd as they were in Toronto, he’s still a guy who has a pretty thankless job, as he’s only begun 38.5 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone.
(He was under 30 regularly with Toronto, which is very rare.)
He’s not just on the ice for tough minutes, either, as it sounds like the Hurricanes have had a pretty successful penalty kill:
McClement may not be an impact player, but despite only 11 games of playoff experience in his career, he seems like the type who can make life easier for Carolina’s bigger money forwards.
The second period of tonight’s contest between Ottawa and Carolina ended on a somber note as Senators forward Clarke MacArthur charged into his goaltender, Robin Lehner, while trying to prevent a goal from Carolina’s Jay McClement.
Both Lehner and MacArthur went down as a result of the collision and needed to be attended to. Lehner was able to get up and head to the locker room on his own strength, but MacArthur spent a longer period of time on the ice and at one point it looked like he would need a stretcher. Fortunately, the stretcher proved to be unnecessary, but the severity of MacArthur’s injury remains unclear.
Rather than have the teams play the final 52 seconds remaining in the period, the decision was made to begin the intermission early. The remaining time will be made up after the intermission before the third period will officially start, per the NHL’s PR Department.
You can see the incident below:
Though Carolina has played well of late — 9-4-3 in its last 16 games — the team is still way out of a playoff spot and must make decisions on a number of key assets.
On Friday, GM Ron Francis provided insight to the direction he might take with them:
Not a huge surprise here. Earlier this week, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that Carolina had placed Andrej Sekera — a highly-coveted d-man — on the market, after Sekera and the ‘Canes failed to reach common ground on a contract extension. The 28-year-old rearguard, in the last of a four-year, $11 million deal, is reportedly looking for “Marc Staal money” in the neighborhood of $5.5M-$6M annually, which he could get on the open market this summer, meaning he’d probably be a rental for any acquiring team (and, therefore, the ‘Canes will probably be compensated accordingly.)
It’ll also be interesting to see what Francis does with winger Jiri Tlusty. A skill guy with a nose for goal — he’s scored 51 over his last 162 games — Tlusty, like Sekera, is a pending UFA that may or may not have a future in Carolina. Though he’s combined at times to form a dynamic scoring duo with captain Eric Staal, Tlusty has failed to replicate his success from the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign (38 points in 48 games) and could net Carolina a fairly good return in a trade.
Other players Francis could dangle prior to Mar. 2 include Jay McClement, Riley Nash, Tim Gleason and Patrick Dwyer, all of whom are up for new contracts at season’s end.
UPDATE: On cue, here’s TSN’s Bob McKenzie…