When Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford downplayed the chances Ryan Bayda and Keith Aucoin would be back with the team after the season, hoping instead to get bigger on the fourth line, Bayda wasn't too worried.
He felt like he'd shown what he can do in the NHL as part of Carolina's second-half surge, so he wasn't surprised when the team opened negotiations with him, a process that ended Tuesday when Bayda signed a one-year contract worth $475,000.
"I had a pretty good meeting with them at the end of the season," Bayda said. "I've had a pretty solid relationship with the organization the last five or six years. I wasn't really surprised."
It's Bayda's first one-way contract, which may allow him to stick around a little longer when the season starts. The last two years, Bayda made the team out of camp only to end up in Albany (AHL) after a two-year total of one game.
"Hopefully, that's the case," Bayda said. "I'm thrilled to finally get a one-way contract. For me, that's pretty awesome. I'm looking forward to being there for a long time, hopefully, this year."