Tim Gleason signed a big, new contract over the offseason to be the Hurricanes' top defensive defenseman, charged with the responsibility of shutting down the opposition's best players.
In theory, he'd do the dirty work while his new partner, Joni Pitkanen, put up the points — which is why Pitkanen signed a big, new contract over the offseason as well.
But in Friday's season-opening 6-4 win over the Panthers, Gleason set a career-high with three points, all assists, including one on Pitkanen's goal in his Carolina debut.
Wasn't he supposed to be the defensive half of Carolina's top pairing?
"I am the defensive guy," Gleason said. "My role is to play defense, but the bounces went for me tonight. My job is to get it to Joni."
Both Gleason and Pitkanen were plus-3 on Friday, a sterling start for a defensive pairing making a combined $5.5 million this season. Gleason also blocked four shots, tied with Dennis Seidenberg and Frank Kaberle for the team high.