A day after helping beat the Washington Capitals, defenseman Tim Gleason was traded to them.
The Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday sent Gleason to the Caps in exchange for defenseman Jack Hillen and a fourth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Both Gleason and Hillen are due to become unrestricted free agents after the season.
Gleason played more than 17 minutes Friday against the Caps at PNC Arena as the Canes shut out the Caps 3-0, earning praise from Canes coach Bill Peters after the game.
“It’s funny how the league works,” Gleason said Saturday in a conference call. “We played them last night and I was physical with some of those guys. I’ll be shaking hands with them tomorrow.
“It’s pretty exciting to be with a team that’s in the playoff race. It’s a very competitive club and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
It was the second time in 14 months that Gleason, 32, had been traded by the Hurricanes. Carolina dealt him to the Toronto Maple Leafs on New Year’s Day 2014, then signed him to a one-year, $1.2 million free-agent contract in July 2014.
Hillen, 29, is in his eighth NHL season and has five assists in 35 games for Washington this season. He has played in 301 NHL games with the New York Islanders, Nashville Predators and Capitals, earning 71 points and totaling 157 penalty minutes.
Hillen was to join the Hurricanes on Long Island on Saturday and play against the Islanders.
“Tim has been a steady presence on and off the ice for our team, and I wish him all the best in Washington,” Canes general manager Ron Francis said in a statement. “This gives us a chance to take a look at Jack for the remainder of the season and continue to accumulate assets for a deep draft this summer.”
The 2015 fourth-round selection acquired by the Hurricanes is Arizona’s pick, which was acquired by the Caps when they traded Martin Erat and John Mitchell to the Coyotes last March.
Gleason, who has played 546 games for the Hurricanes, became the third pending unrestricted free agent to be traded leading up to the trade deadline on Monday. The Canes on Wednesday sent defenseman Andrej Sekera to the Los Angeles Kings and traded forward Jiri Tlusty to the Winnipeg Jets after Francis was unable to re-sign them.
Gleason said Thursday the constant speculation, especially after the two trades, was unsettling.
“When you’re in that situation, I’d be lying if I said you don’t think about it,” Gleason said. “When you see those two things happen, you keep your phone close to you so you can see what’s going on. It’s part of the business, part of the job. It’s one of those things you deal with.”
Going to the Caps should give Gleason a chance to be a part of the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2009, when the Canes reached the Eastern Conference finals. He will give the Caps another experienced D-man and another physical banger on the blue line.
Gleason was traded to Carolina from the Kings in September 2006. After playing 491 games for the Canes, he was sent to the Leafs in exchange for defenseman John-Michael Liles and prospect Dennis Robertson. Gleason played 39 games last season for the Leafs, who then bought out his contract for $5.7 million.
“It’s definitely a change, something you have to get adapted to,” Gleason said of being traded.