Originally written on Shutdown Line  |  Last updated 11/16/14

The Hurricanes have another restricted free agent locked up for the next couple years with the team re-signing Jamie McBain to a two-year contract with a cap hit of about $1.8 mil. per season ($1.7 mil. + $1.9 mil. in salary). This is a pretty safe deal for McBain since two years isn't a big commitment and the cap hit is pretty low, as well. McBain has really done a lot in two and a half seasons in Carolina and he has shown the potential to be anything from a decent top-four defenseman to a very solid third pairing guy/powerplay quarterback. He has been more effective in the latter role and his game in his own end still needs some work, but I think keeping him around for the next two years is a good move for the Hurricanes.

While there have been some arguments in favor of trading McBain, re-signing him is probably the better call for now. Yes, the Canes have a lot of defensemen in their system (and too many puck movers), a couple of them are another year or two away from making the team. At the very least, McBain will provide a good stopgap for the Canes until Ryan Murphy is ready to be called up. He is also only 24 years old and is still developing. What we're seeing right now isn't his ceiling and he could very well turn into a stronger two-way player. If he doesn't progress at all in the next two years, then the Canes have a good offensive defenseman who can give them 25-30 points for about $1.8 mil. per year.

Let's pretend that McBain doesn't progress at all in the next two years and stays the same player. Would $1.8 mil. be an overpayment for him? To figure this out, let's take a look at some other defensemen who were given a contract similar to his. Below is a list of defensemen, their contract's cap hit and the age they were when they were signed to those deals.

Player Contract Age Matt Niskanen $1.5 mil. 24 John Erskine $1.5 mil. 31 Brett Clark $1.5 mil. 34 Matt Hunwick $1.55 mil. 25 Milan Jurcina $1.6 mil. 28 Nick Grossman $1.625 mil. 25 Mark Stuart $1.7 mil. 27 Chris Campoli $1.75 mil. 27 Jamie McBain $1.8 mil. 24 Ryan O'Byrne $1.8 mil. 27 Kurtis Foster $1.8 mil. 29 Alex Goligoski $1.833 mil. 25 Johnny Boychuk $1.875 mil. 25 Greg Zanon $1.9 mil. 29

All of the players here are 2nd or 3rd pairing defensemen and some of them had a defined role which made them a little more valuable than a standard bottom-pairing defenseman. What this means is that if McBain were to stay the same way he is now, his new contract fits his current value just fine. If he phases out offensively or is a complete defensive liability, then it's an overpayment but that isn't the case with him right now. McBain is also younger than the majority of defensemen on the list with the one exception being Matt Niskanen. Niskanen also brings an interesting comparison to the table because he was also a 25-35 point defenseman early in his career but his offensive numbers fell off a cliff around the time that Dallas extended him. He was also a bottom-pairing defenseman like McBain, only sheltered a lot more.

A couple other players who I would compare to McBain are Alex Goligoski and Johnny Boychuk. When they were signed to their contracts listed above, they were known more as puck-movers and were bottom-pairing defensemen on their respective teams. Goligoski was primarily a third pairing defenseman and powerplay quarterback when the Penguins re-signed him to a three year deal and while his two-way game hasn't come around much, he is playing as a top-four defenseman in Dallas and has been more effective as an offensive defenseman. Boychuk has played regularly in Boston's top-four and has even spent some time playing alongside Zdeno Chara. His numbers in the NHL are a pretty big contrast from his impressive point totals in the AHL.

McBain had more experience at the NHL level before he signed his second contract so he's a little different from Boychuk and Goligoski but the main idea here is that the Bruins and Penguins committed 2-3 years and roughly $1.8 mil. to a young defenseman with a decent amount of potential, which is the same thing that the Hurricanes are doing with McBain. Goligoski and Boychuk progressed as their contracts went on and were able to earn big deals with their current clubs. Can McBain do the same thing? Let's hope so.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Panthers coach replaces break-in victims’ Christmas presents

Bruce Arians benches Logan Thomas on Christmas Day

Richard Sherman: Marshawn Lynch having MVP season

Curt Schilling tweeted advice to Johnny Manziel

Aaron Rodgers buys TVs for Packers teammates

Harbaugh smiled when asked about Michigan's bday tweet

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jackie Robinson West Little League accused of cheating

Police: Fire that burned down McClain's home 'suspicious'

Furniture store will refund purchases if OSU wins title

What each NFC team in the hunt should ask for from Santa

Is SI ashamed to mention Jameis Winston on its cover?

Kobe Bryant disappointed Lakers didn't get Rajon Rondo

WATCH: Kenny Smith pushes Shaq into a Christmas tree

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Is the NFL playoff system heading south?

WATCH: Quincy Acy ejected for throwing punch at John Wall

Billy Beane did not want to trade Josh Donaldson

Peyton Manning plans to be back with Broncos next year

WATCH: Blazers announcer botches Damian Lillard call

WATCH: P.K. Subban disguises himself, surprises kids for Xmas

Baseball cards: a fan's love for the ultimate stocking stuffer

Packers game is a career defining moment for Stafford

A look inside Jason Grilli's contract with the Braves

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Dan Le Batard sums up Miami's relationship with LeBron

Is the NFL playoff system heading south?

WATCH: Announcer botches call

Police: McClain fire 'suspicious'

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

Bahamas Bowl ends on crazy Hail Mary

49ers OT Davis takes shot at coordinator

Will FIFA ever care to change?

Top storyline for each Week 17 game

40 great Christmas-related sports names

Nick Mangold and dealing with feelings as a sports fan

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.