Edna, Minnesota. Jake Gardiner is hungrier than ever to start the NHL season.
The 32-year-old defender had to give up the 2021-22 season after undergoing hip and back surgery. His last game with Carolina Hurricanes dates back to May 10, 2021.
Gardiner was given the green light to play in early June and is participating The Beauty Leaguea 4-on-4 summer hockey league created for NHL, American Hockey League, and Division I players who live in Minnesota.
Gardiner admitted that he had “been tough” all that time away. I worked hard and did countless treatments and rehab exercises to be ready to get back in the game.”
The Hurricanes certainly wouldn’t complain about the 10-season veteran’s return – his last two seasons with the Carolinas after starting his career with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2011-12.
Barring a turn, he’ll be in camp and we’ll see who’s there,” Hurricanes General Manager Don Waddell said at the 2022 draft in Montreal on July 7.
Gardiner has one more season on a four-year contract worth $16.2 million (annual average of $4.05 million) he signed on September 6, 2019.
Video: CAR @ PIT: Gardiner fires a laser at AN
The Hurricanes have made several changes to their defensive squad since Gardiner’s injury, and it remains to be seen what Carolina will do in return in 2022-23.
Hurricanes got their hands on the cannons Brent Burns On July 13th in trade with San Jose Sharks. Burns, winner of the Norris Cup as the NHL’s best defense in 2016-2017, had 54 points (10 goals, 44 assists) in 82 games last season. The 37-year-old veteran has 777 points (227 goals and 550 assists) in 1,251 games with Sharks and Minnesota Wild.
Burns will help make up for the loss Tony D’Angelo, which was traded with the Philadelphia Flyers on July 8. DeAngelo scored 51 points (10 goals, 41 assists) in 64 games in his only season with the Hurricanes, including 20 points (2 goals, 18 assists) in strong play.
Hurricanes also said goodbye to defenders Ian Col (Tampa Bay Lightning) and Brendan Smith (New Jersey Devils), who dealt with new formations in the free agent market.
Last summer, Carolina lost services Doji Hamilton Gardiner was on the disabled list. Hamilton signed a seven-year contract with the Devils after scoring 42 points (10 goals, 32 assists) in 55 regular season games with the Hurricanes in 2020-21.
“We lost Tony DiAngelo, who was a very important player in our strength,” the defender noted Brady Skjiwhich also participates in The Beauty League. But I think “Burnsy” or [Gardiner] can make up for this loss.
“We know what Jake brings to our team and it’s great to have him back, but I think having a guy like Burns who has had a great career and can play big minutes would be really fun to watch. I think he’s going to have a very good season. He would fit in perfectly with us.”
The Hurricanes have been busy this season after being eliminated in the second round of the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
They also got the striker Max Priority In trade with the Vegas Golden Knights on July 13. Pasurietti scored 37 points (19 goals and 18 assists) in 39 games last season. He averaged 29 goals in his previous eight campaigns.
The Carolina attackers also lost Nino Niedretter (Nashville Predators) and Vincent Trochek (New York Rangers) through the free agent market, but Skjei and Gardiner are confident the Hurricanes are still contenders for the Stanley Cup.
“We’re close, but we haven’t reached the end goal yet,” Gardiner said. I think we have a very good team, it’s just a matter of execution. »