Former Leafs defenceman Jake Gardiner signs 4-year deal with Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes signed defenceman Jake Gardiner to a four-year, $16.2 million US contract, the team announced on Friday.

Gardiner collected three goals and 27 assists with a plus-19 rating in 62 games in the 2018-19 season with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The 29-year-old, who missed significant time due to a back injury, played in all seven games of the Maple Leafs’ first-round playoff series loss to the Boston Bruins.

“Jake is a solid veteran blueliner with a proven history of contributing offensively, including on the power play,” Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said. “He’s had options this summer, but ultimately decided that Carolina is his best fit, and we’re thrilled to have him here.”

Gardiner has totalled 45 goals, 200 assists and 185 penalty minutes in 551 career games, all with Toronto.

Gardiner was a first-round pick (17th overall) of the Anaheim Ducks at the 2008 NHL Draft. He was traded to the Maple Leafs along with Joffrey Lupul and a draft pick on Feb. 9, 2011, in exchange for defenceman Francois Beauchemin.

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