The Atlanta Thrashers
have signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Ron Hainsey
to a multiple-year contract, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Waddell.
Hainsey, 27, recorded 32 points (eight goals, 24 assists) in 78 games for the Columbus Blue Jackets
last season. He led team defensemen in goals, assists, points and shots (161) while ranking second on the team in average ice time per game (22:33). The 6-3, 210-pound defenseman ranked second on the team with eight power play goals, which tied him for sixth among NHL defenseman.
“Ron is one of the best young defensemen in free agency and we’re very happy to be adding a player of his caliber to our lineup,” said Waddell. “He moves the puck well, has good offensive capabilities and is a solid all-around defenseman who has taken significant strides with his game over the last few seasons and is now entering the prime of his career.”
The native of Bolton, Conn., has tallied 85 points (20 goals, 65 assists) in 245 career NHL games with Montreal and Columbus. Hainsey posted career-highs in goals (nine), assists (25) and points (34) in a career-high 80 games with the Blue Jackets during the 2006-07 campaign. He has also appeared in 244 American Hockey League contests with Quebec and Hamilton, registering 116 points (29 goals, 87 assists). Hainsey has also recorded 18 points (two goals, 16 assists) in 41 career playoff games, including 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) during the 2002-03 post-season while leading Hamilton to the Calder Cup Finals.
Prior to his professional career, Hainsey played two seasons at the University of Massachusetts – Lowell from 1999-2001, where he recorded 47 points (13 goals, 34 assists) in 63 games. He also spent two seasons with the United States Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich., recording 38 points (11 goals, 27 assists) in 114 contests from 1997-1999.
Hainsey, who was originally selected by Montreal in the first round, 13th overall, of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, has represented the United States in the 2000 and 2001 World Junior Championships.