Ron Hainsey, 31, 6’3, 210 lbs.
Last Year’s Ranking: 10
This Year’s Ranking: 16
Ron Hainsey just rubs me the wrong way.
At first I thought it was his enormous (for a player like him) $4.5 million per year contract with the Winnipeg Jets.
But when I watched games both live and on TV, it became apparent that the Jets were putting money into a deep hole that continually gave the puck away and created chances for the other team.
Not exactly how you want to spend $4.5 million per is it?
In 2011-12, Hainsey gave the puck away 23 more times than he took it away from opponents and it always seemed to happen at the most critical times in games.
Despite that, Hainsey did finish the season with a respectable plus nine rating along with 10 assists in 56 games, but it begs the question: Why do we pay a middle tier defenseman over $4 million a year?
Great question with not many answers.
Hainsey signed a five year contract in Atlanta, after spending three seasons in Columbus, to the tune of $22.5 million overall.
His first season was a career year with 39 points (six goals, 33 assists) despite a minus 16 rating.
Since his first big year, Hainsey has dropped off significantly with a 26 point season, a 19 point season, and most recently a 10 point season.
There’s no reason for the Jets number six to be any higher than this and to be honest, it seems being at the sixteenth spot is a little generous already.
To Hainsey’s credit, he is the Jets NHLPA representative and is a great mentor for the younger defensemen like Toby Enstrom, whom he has played with for four years now, as well as young and up-and-coming Paul Postma.
But it seems Hainsey’s days are numbered.
He is in a contract year that is locked out and Postma and Redmond are only going to get better with another year in the AHL.
And to their credit, they are younger.
So, for the former 13th overall pick, the road seems to only indicate another slide, though I can’t see him picking up less than ten points if he wants to get another big payday as he did after his Columbus days.
But that’s for him to decide if they can actually play this season.