Hainsey signs with Leafs, who lose Hunwick to Penguins


Ron Hainsey is moving from Pittsburgh to Toronto, and Matt Hunwick is moving from Toronto to Pittsburgh.

The two left-shot defensemen both signed today. Hainsey gets a two-year deal with the Maple Leafs, with a cap hit of $3 million. Hunwick gets three years out of the Penguins, with a cap hit of $2.25 million.

Hainsey, 36, finally made his playoff debut in 2017, after getting traded to Pittsburgh from Carolina. He quickly became an important part of an unsung Penguins blue line that was missing Kris Letang.

“We’re fortunate that we picked up Ron Hainsey,” GM Jim Rutherford said after the Pens won the Cup. “He ate up a lot of minutes, played in the top pairing, did a good job.”

Hunwick, 32, played 72 games for the Maple Leafs last season. He scored one goal with 18 assists and drew consistent praise from head coach Mike Babcock.

“I think Hunny has played better and better as the year has gone on,” Babcock said in April, per The Athletic. “He’s a real valuable player for us, knows how to play, he has quietly been a plus player – around seven or eight I think he is – he’s got about 20 points, kills penalties for us, knows how to play. He’s not a big body and sometimes that gets in the way for him, but he’s very intelligent, he’s real brave, breaks out pucks. Good player.”