Carolina Hurricanes defenceman Jake Gardiner is scheduled to have hip surgery over the offseason. He will be placed on LTIR and is unavailable for this season.
Waddell says he thought it was 50-50 Habs would match or not match. Says Canes should have no cap issues. Says Jake Gardiner will have hip surgery and will go on LTIR
— Chip Alexander (@ice_chip) September 5, 2021
Jake Gardiner Scheduled For Hip Surgery
The lefty defenceman was a significant part of Carolina’s stout defensive unit last season. Playing over 16 minutes of ice time per game, Gardiner spent most of his time on the second or third pairing. Only playing 26 games for the Hurricanes last season, he had eight points, all in the form of assists. However, his advanced stats show he is more impactful than the scoresheet might hold. A Corsi For of 55.9% and a relative Corsi of 3.7, Gardiner was a net positive for the Canes while he was on the ice. He also started nearly 60% of his draws in the offensive zone, averaging nearly a shot per game.
How the Hurricanes Adjust
Losing a steadfast piece of a team’s defensive core is never a good sign. And with the weird and wacky offseason Carolina has shown, it’s a complicated situation out in Raleigh. Letting your (arguably) best defenceman walk in free agency AND losing your Calder-nominated goaltender confused many fans and analysts. To add on, the Hurricanes made the questionable decision of signing Tony DeAngelo to fill the gap left by Dougie Hamilton signing elsewhere. The latest saga was the successful offer sheet to Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who is now under Carolina’s contract.
Losing Jake Gardiner means the Hurricanes have lost a reliable top-four defenceman. However, they aren’t walking on thin ice yet. Signing Ethan Bear and Ian Cole strengthens their blue line significantly. And they haven’t lost all of their players either. Brett Pesce, Brady Skjei, and Jaccob Slavin are all contracted for this season. With all of the experience and skill on their blue line, the Hurricanes are poised to be one of the best defensive teams in the league.