Published: Fri, February 24, 2017
Sport | By Desiree Waters

Penguins acquire Ron Hainsey to help bolster defense

He will be sidelined six weeks.

The team ruled out Olli Maatta for six weeks last week due to a hand injury and are now also without defenceman Justin Schultz due to a concussion. Only Matt Cullen (1,347 games) and Trevor Daley (892 games) have more National Hockey League regular-season playing experience.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired defenseman Ron Hainsey from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a 2017 second-round selection and Danny Kristo. This is an area that Jim Rutherford stressed he wanted to upgrade at the deadline.

This is the third major injury the Penguins have suffered on their blue line within a week's time.

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The initial reaction to the trade is mixed. Kristo is a career AHL player, so the Penguins will hardly miss him, and Pittsburgh retained its first-round pick while acquiring a depth defenseman that should fit nicely into the lineup.

Hainsey, 35, makes $2.833 million but will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, meaning he's likely a rental. The quality of those minutes is a point of debate: He has 14 points in 56 games, and is 20th on the Hurricanes in Corsi relative to his teammates (minus-3.6). He owns six goals and 13 points in 40 AHL games with the Chicago Wolves and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins this season. However, whatever he supplies offensively in Pittsburgh will be a bonus. He has played in every game for Carolina this year and was a big piece of their penalty killing unit.

"The 6'3" 210-pound lefthanded-shooting blueliner sat third on the Hurricanes in time on ice (22:20 minutes) and second overall in shorthanded minutes (3:03 minutes).

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