Is two seasons enough for #2? Will he make a triumphant return and win another Stanley Cup?
Find out next on this edition of Ron Hainsey: Probably not a robot!
In all seriousness, Hainsey’s one of the oddest cases of player evaluation we’ve seen in a uniform in recent memory. An aging vet and a supposed possession black hole who’s probably playing too many minutes on the Leafs’ top pairing, but also somehow always was near the league leaders in plus-minus. There was a pretty good case that he was always about the fourth or fifth best Leafs skater on the ice during any given shift,
0.75 5v5 points/60 minutes was the third highest rate of his career, but much of that came with playing alongside Morgan Rielly, who racked up his totals at at an impressive rate. His 48.9 % Corsi For Percentage at 5v5 was nearly two full percentage points higher than his first year in a Leafs uniform.
In terms of raw numbers, he picked up 5 goals and 8 assists to reach 23 points.
In the year prior, he picked up 4 goals and 19 assists. Oh, and this past season, Hainsey took his +12 rating to a +30, which led the team. Mostly flawed stat, but one that’s not bad to look good in.
So it seems to be fair to say that Ron Hainsey didn’t perform any worse than his first year in Toronto.
The best summary of what’s next for Hainsey comes in the piece of a Cam Lewis article here.
In short: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
It would seem plausible that the Leafs could try to plug that roster spot with a younger player like Rasmus Sandin or Timothy Liljegren, but if he’s available for cheap (and especially if Jake Gardiner is as good as gone), maybe we do see another Hainsey run with the Leafs on a one-year deal.
That goal, pt. 1
Hainsey takes down Boston!
That goal, pt. 2
Hainsey scores a shorthanded goal off a rush with Mitch Marner!
So what’s next?
Well, you can listen to the man himself here:
If this is the end for Hainsey, it was an alright ride. If it’s not? Well, maybe he’ll get a chance to win his second career Stanley Cup.