Ronald Martin Hainsey (born March 24, 1981) is an American professional ice hockey player for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has previously played for the Montreal Canadiens, Columbus Blue Jackets, Atlanta Thrashers, Winnipeg Jets, Carolina Hurricanes and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Hainsey has been playing professional hockey for nearly 16 years (907 games) before playing on a team that made the post-season; longer than any other player in league history and then won his first Stanley Cup in his first playoff appearance finishing 2nd in T.O.I. for the playoffs. |publisher =Sportsnet |date = April 11, 2017 |accessdate=July 5, 2017}}</ref>
Hainsey was drafted in the first round, 13th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, from Hockey East Div. 1 collegiate team University of Massachusetts Lowell. He started his professional career with AHL teams, Quebec Citadelles and the Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL) and played in the Calder Cup finals vs Houston.
After spending three seasons in the Canadiens organization, Hainsey was claimed off of waivers on November 29, 2005, by the Columbus Blue Jackets, where he established himself into a leading two-way defenseman.
On July 2, 2008, the Atlanta Thrashers signed Hainsey to a five-year, $22.5 million contract. He scored six goals to go along with 33 assists in his first season in Atlanta. He would go on to record 45 points in the next two seasons with the Thrashers. Upon their move to Winnipeg to start the 2011–12 NHL season, Hainsey recorded 10 assists in 56 games for the Jets in 2011–12.
Hainsey also played a role in the negotiations of the 2012–13 NHL lockout. After a day of marathon bargaining sessions on December 5, 2012, Hainsey emerged to tell the media that both sides planned to meet again the next day.
On September 12, 2013, Hainsey signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Carolina Hurricanes after the team announced defenseman Joni Pitkanen would miss the season due to injury. On June 24, 2014, Hainsey signed a three-year, $8.5 million contract extension with the Hurricanes.
On February 23, 2017, Hainsey, in the final year of his contract, was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a 2017 second-round draft pick and Danny Kristo, a minor league forward. It was with the Penguins that, after 907 career NHL games, he finally made his Stanley Cup playoffs debut against his former team, the Columbus Blue Jackets, on April 12, 2017. On June 11, 2017, he won the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Hainsey left the Penguins after his short but successful tenure as a free agent, signing to a two-year, $6 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 1, 2017. Hainsey was signed to replace departing defenceman Matt Hunwick, who coincidentally signed with the Penguins that same day.
Hainsey is from Bolton, Connecticut, and learned how to skate at the Bolton Ice Palace. He is an avid golfer in the off season.