Tracking the Storm

Family, Teammates Made Gleason's Decision Easy

Monday, 01.30.2012 / 4:26 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
X
Share with your Friends


Family, Teammates Made Gleason\'s Decision Easy
With his name being regularly tossed into the rumor mill, Tim Gleason was officially taken off the market today when he signed a four-year contract extension with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Michael Smith
Follow on Twitter
Identified as a core player by Hurricanes President and General Manager Jim Rutherford, Gleason’s deal keeps him with the team through the 2015-16 season, alongside Eric Staal and Cam Ward.

For Gleason, living in an area that is family friendly and having a strong core of players solidified for the next few years made the decision to stay an easy one.

“I have a family now. If I was by myself, it’d be kind of a 'whatever' thing,” he said. “Having a family and having them like it here has a big impact on our decision. That’s most important.

“The team that we have, the way that we’re going forward and how things have changed around in the last month or two are some things I have to look at, too.”

Gleason, who turned 29 on Sunday, is in his sixth year with the Hurricanes. He leads team defenseman this season in hits (87), plus/minus (plus-2) and total minutes played (1,063). In December, Gleason played his 500th game in the NHL. Of those 500, 375 were played with this franchise.

That all became uncertain as the trade deadline grew closer. Gleason was slated to become an unrestricted free agent. Add that to the fact that he can bring a gritty, veteran presence to a blue-line, and he makes the perfect candidate for a deadline deal with a playoff-bound team.

Gleason said he'd run through the possibilities in his head, one of them being a "rental" player somewhere else and re-signing here in the offseason. Even he couldn't shake the trade talk.

“It’s kind of a nightmare, but it comes with the territory,” he said. “I was going somewhere every day for the last month.”

Knowing that aspect was somewhat out of his control might have been the most frustrating. But the Hurricanes management was willing to negotiate mid-season, something largely unprecedented for Rutherford. Gleason said this signaled a lot of respect between both parties.

“Deep down, my wife and I have talked over and over and over again about wanting to stay,” he said. “It came to a good conclusion.”

The last time Gleason was traded, he was 23 years old, having played two NHL seasons with the Los Angeles Kings. Making the journey from the West coast to the East coast, he admittedly didn’t know if the Triangle would become home. Now, he has no doubts.

In addition to raising a family in the area, Gleason has become a leader on and off the ice. He was named an Alternate Captain with forward Brandon Sutter coming into the 2009-10 season.

“He’s bought into what we’re doing,” head coach Kirk Muller said. “Off-ice, he knows his role with the team. He’s a quiet leader, but on the same token, he gains a lot of respect in the room from his play. He’s just a real professional.”

Gleason has had the most success this season paired with fellow gritty defenseman Bryan Allen, perhaps not the most conventional of pairings. It’s one that has worked and has given the Canes a tough twosome for opponents to face, especially in the dirty areas.

“He’s played hard, and he’s done a great job of shutting the top lines recently,” Muller said. “The organization is real excited that he wanted to make a commitment to stay here and be a part of what we’re doing.”

Fresh off inking his new deal, Gleason enjoyed the ribbing of his teammates. He led the team stretch at the conclusion of practice and lost focus during a post-practice interview while Chad LaRose yelled, “Cha-ching!” in the background.

“They say I have to buy lunch and buy some dinners, and I told them that doesn’t start until next year, so that’s my excuse,” Gleason said.

Seeing such interactions between teammates indicates a strong bond within the locker room. Gleason said friendships, sometimes hard to come by, are an important facet in wanting to stay with a team. Obviously, there is no shortage of them here.

“At the end of the day, it’s a place where you want to play hockey and a place where you want to live,” he said. “We’re just very ecstatic.”



SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72