‘Canes ink defenseman duo to 1-year deals, still face shortage on left side

Carolina Hurricanes

RALEIGH, NC – OCTOBER 09: Brandon Sutter #20 of the Vancouver Canucks knocks the puck away from Haydn Fleury #4 of the Carolina Hurricanes during their game at PNC Arena on October 9, 2018 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Carolina Hurricanes announced Tuesday they have signed depth defensemen Haydn Fleury and Gustav Forsling to one-year contracts.

Fleury signed a one-way deal worth $850,000. The 23-year-old played in 20 regular-season games for the Hurricanes last year. He had one assist in that span and added 10 points in 28 appearances with the Charlotte Checkers.

“Haydn has taken strides during each of his three professional seasons in our organization,” general manager Don Wadell said in a press release. “We’ve been encouraged by his development and our hope is that he becomes a fixture in our lineup.”

Forsling, also 23 years old, was acquired in a June 24 trade that sent Calvin de Haan and Aleksi Saarela to the Chicago Blackhawks. He had three goals and six assists in 43 games with the Blackhawks last season.

GLENDALE, ARIZONA – MARCH 26: Gustav Forsling #42 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates with the puck ahead of Alex Galchenyuk #17 of the Arizona Coyotes during the first period of the NHL game at Gila River Arena on March 26, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

“Gustav is a skilled, young defenseman,” Waddell said. “He has shown promise throughout his time in the NHL and we expect him to continue to develop.”

Forsling’s contract is a two-way deal that will pay him $874,125 at the NHL level and $70,000 at the AHL level, the team said.

Carolina appears to have much of its defensive lineup figured out, although the team has a higher concentration of right-handed blueliners. Dougie Hamilton, Justin Faulk, Brett Pesce, and Trevor van Riemsdyk are all right-handed shots.

So, unless one of the aforementioned righties ends up playing on his off-side, the Hurricanes may find themselves relying on either Fleury or Forsling to slot in on the second pairing. The team also has 25-year-old Trevor Carrick and up-and-coming 20-year-old Jake Bean in the pipeline. The shortage of left-handed defenseman could mean they get a chance to compete for a spot on the Hurricanes’ roster should the team decide to fill the gap from within.

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