Haley signed a two-year contract with the Panthers on Saturday, FOX Sports Florida reports. The gritty bottom-six forward wasn't about to be left out of the madness that is the opening of the free-agent signing period, and he avoided a one-year contract for the fourth straight season. Last year, Haley came in under 10 minutes of ice time per contest and was kept away from both the power-play and penalty-killing units as a member of the Sharks. However, he did rack up 128 PIM in just 58 games in 2016-17, so he'll provide the Panthers with some extra muscle up front.
Haley has served his one-game suspension and will return to San Jose's lineup for Thursday's game against the Oilers, Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area reports. Haley will slot into a bottom-six role against Edmonton, skating with Joonas Donskoi and Chris Tierney on the Sharks' fourth line. The 31-year-old winger only has 11 points in 54 games this campaign, so he isn't a practical option in most season-long fantasy formats.
Haley has been suspended for one game for his punch on the Predators' Calle Jarnkrok, according to NHL Player Safety. Haley will now miss Tuesday's contest against the Rangers because of the incident, opening the door for either Timo Meier or Barclay Goodrow to draw in. His absence shouldn't be felt from a fantasy standpoint, as the veteran winger averages fewer than 10 minutes of ice time on a nightly basis, but he does have a small amount of value in leagues that account for penalty minutes (110 this season). He should be reinstated ahead of Thursday's game against the Oilers.
Haley has played in a career-high 39 games this year, producing nine points while averaging 8:47 of ice time. While he's not likely to be fantasy-relevant anytime soon, Haley has made the most of his near full-time role in 2016-17. His 28 shots on goal, eight assists, 87 hits and 12 blocked shots are all the most of his career, and it's always nice to see a hard-working, fourth-line energy guy take on an increased role at the NHL level.
Haley (upper body) is no longer listed on injured reserve, per the NHL's official media site. Per Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area, Haley returned to the ice Monday, at which point it was clear that he'd come off IR. Still, we're talking about a 30-year-old who has only managed 10 points in 103 career games, so obviously you should steer clear of him in the fantasy realm.
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