Hurricanes’ Jake Gardiner expected to miss season due to back, hip surgeries


Carolina Hurricanes defenceman Jake Gardiner. (David Zalubowski/AP)

Carolina Hurricanes defenceman Jake Gardiner will have hip and back surgeries and is not expected to play this season, the team announced.

General manager Don Waddell did not disclose when Gardiner is expected to have surgery but did say he will be placed on long-term injured reserve. The 31-year-old only played in 26 games last season because of injuries and recorded eight assists.

By placing Gardiner on long-term injured reserve, Carolina opens up room on their salary cap for newly acquired forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi who will make $6.1 million this season. Gardiner has two years remaining on his contract which carries a $4.05 million cap hit.

Since being selected in the first round of the 2008 NHL Draft by the Anaheim Ducks, Gardiner has scored 49 goals and 277 points in 645 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Hurricanes.

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