banner
Ken Medlin

Medlin: Hurricanes getting healthier

Posted March 15, 2013

Reinforcements are on the way for the Carolina Hurricanes.

Defenseman Joni Pitkanen is expected to be back in the lineup this weekend, and forward Tuomo Ruutu is expected back by the end of the month. That's a top-pairing defenseman and a top-6 forward both returning to the action – de facto trade deadline acquisitions without the need of actual trades.

The NHL's trade deadline is April 3, and the Canes – like most playoff contenders – will likely survey the landscape for options to improve their team for the postseason run. But in getting two veteran, playoff-tested performers like Ruutu and Pitkanen back on the ice, the Canes' roster will already be bolstered.

Pitkanen's presence should improve the Canes' struggling power play and strengthen the Canes' defensive pairings as well. Ruutu, once he's back up to speed, could be slotted on the 2nd line alongside Jordan Staal and Jeff Skinner or on a beefed-up third line with Jussi Jokinen and Riley Nash. Any way you cut it, the Canes will be deeper and more talented with the two injured Finns back on the ice.

And there's another possibility – the return of Ruutu and Pitkanen might free the Canes up to make a deal for a missing piece of the equation – perhaps a stay-at-home defenseman – at the deadline.

Either way, the Canes have options, and they're more likely to be buyers rather than sellers at the deadline for the first time in several years.

Injuries have plagued this team – Cam Ward is still out, Jeff Skinner missed a batch of games, and at one point half of the regular defense corps was unavailable – but the lineup is mending now, and at just the right time.

1 Comment

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • VT1994Hokie Mar 16, 2013

    Great article Ken. I learn something everyday. WRAL does a solid job.

  • ACC: Wake Forest at Duke

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: NC State at Clemson

    Tonight at 9:00 on WRAL-FM

  • ACC: Duke vs. Wake Forest

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on 620am

  • Big Ten: Wisconsin at Minnesota

    Thursday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NBA: Dallas at Portland

    Thursday at 9:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAL
1st
GT 5
UNC 6
 
9:00pm Tonight
CLEM
NCSU
Final
DET 15
BAL 2
 
Final
MIA 7
MIAFLA 1
 
Final
PHI 5
NYY 5
 
Final
BOS 2
NEASTERN 1
 
Final
TOR 7
PIT 8
 
Final
CIN 10
CLE 0
 
Final
OAK 9
SFG 4
 
Final
BOS 1
BOSTONCOLL 0
 
7th
ARI 2
ASU 0
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
BOS
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAL
7:00pm Tonight
NYK
SAC
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
HOU
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
UTA
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
WAS
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
MIL
1st
UMO 3
AKR 0
 
1st
NAVY 5
ARMY 2
 
1st
BST 5
EMICH 2
 
1st
BUT 5
GEOR 5
 
7:00pm Tonight
IND
IOWA
1st
FLGC 2
JVU 2
 
1st
USCU 0
KNST 0
 
1st
BGU 2
KSU 3
 
1st
NKENTUCKY 0
LIP 0
 
1st
HC 2
GHND 0
 
1st
RUTG 4
MD 7
 
1st
GT 5
UNC 6
 
1st
BUF 4
OHIO 4
 
1st
ALA 10
MISS 3
 
1st
DAY 0
RIU 2
 
1st
CMICH 7
TOL 14
 
1st
DET 0
YOUNG 2
 
7:30pm Tonight
UNF
STET
 
8:00pm Tonight
ABCHRIST
HOUB
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDAK
NEOM
 
8:00pm Tonight
NILL
WMICH
 
8:00pm Tonight
ILLCH
WRST
9:00pm Tonight
MIZZ
AUB
9:00pm Tonight
UGA
KENT
9:00pm Tonight
NW
MICH
9:00pm Tonight
CLEM
NCSU
9:00pm Tonight
UF
TEXAM
9:00pm Tonight
KU
WVU
9:15pm Tonight
CREI
VILL
1st
PHI 0
CAL 0
 
1st
NJD 1
NAS 0
 
1st
CLB 0
WAS 0
 
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
BUF
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
OTT
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
NYI
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
ANA
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
LOS
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
SJS