Elliotte Friedman dropped the news early this morning that the Toronto Maple Leafs had interest in the Penguins defender.

Hainsey was brought in to help shore up the Penguins defensive depth in a deadline move that sent Dany Kristo and a second round pick to the Hurricanes.  He played 16 regular season games and 25 playoff games for the Penguins, chipping in a total of 11 points.

Hainsey is a safe stay at home defenseman who would take Roman Polak’s place as the team veteran and fill out the bottom pair. Turning 36 next year, he won't be here very long and is most likely holding a spot while Andrew Nielsen, Travis Dermott and others get some seasoning with the Marlies.

The current rumoured deal is 2 years/$3.25million:

In a matching rumour it seems that Hainsey-comparable Matt Hunwick is on his way to Pittsburgh. So one third-pairing defender in, one third-pairing defender out. Leafs probably break even on this one.

Edited to add: if this is the real deal for Hunwick, this choice to go with Hainsey looks much better.

We’ll give you the complete details when that paperwork is filed.


Leafs are being as slow and stingy with details but per LeBrun it will be two years with a $3 millon AAV - how that breaks down we don’t know.

And it’s official, official:

So, do they mean it’s a straight $3 million each year? Who knows. We’ll find out eventually.