Canes say 'no' at the deadline
Posted February 27, 2012
Updated February 28, 2012
There is an old saying in sports that goes, "Sometimes it is the trades you don’t make that are more helpful than the ones you do." The Carolina Hurricanes are hoping that is sage wisdom after making no deals at the NHL trade deadline.
The fact that the Canes are second from the bottom in the Eastern Conference and stood pat didn’t bother General Manager Jim Rutherford. “I’m actually more than okay with it,” he said.
Conventional thought was that defensemen Bryan Allen and Jaroslav Spacek would be moved by the deadline. Both players are unrestricted free agents at season’s end. Allen was pulled of the trade block early Monday, and the deal wasn’t there for Spacek. Rutherford said that teams had inquired earlier for the veteran. “For the most part he was second or third on teams' lists and teams never got to that and we never got to the point of getting an offer,” he said.
Does pulling Allen of the block mean the Canes have an inside track on signing him? The GM hedged on saying that it’s a done deal but knows there is more value than just on the ice.
"Hard to say, but he is a really good team guy," Rutherford said.
The Canes have until July 1 to sign Allen and at no time were asked or asked Allen or his agent to waive his movement.
The Canes have held on to potential free agents Tuomo Ruutu and Tim Gleason by extending their contracts before they could hit free agency this summer.
The reasoning for Rutherford is simple. "Both of these players are still in their 20s,” Rutherford said before doing the deals and reiterated Monday.
Part of the reason for not making a deal is the team’s resurgence under head coach Kirk Muller. Since Muller stepped behind the bench the Canes have posted a 15-13-8 record, and the style of play wasn’t lost on Rutherford.
“He’s brought in new ideas and he has brought in a work ethic that the players have bought into. Certainly it will make a difference for Kirk to have his own training camp from the start of the season. He gets a look to see what he has got,” Rutherford said.
Muller’s influence also might have had something to do with the team’s lack of activity Monday.
“Based on my conversations with him, he likes all the players here,” said Rutherford. And while nothing was done at the deadline, changes still have to come.
“But if he was sitting here, I would give you the same answer. Finding one or two more players is going to make a big difference.”
The most likely option is that Carolina would get a top 6 forward by free agency or off-season trade, but there is another place where teams find talent – the draft, and the general manager is aware his team is in a spot to grab that player without giving up talent. “If the draft was today, we’d improve it immediately, because we’d be picking in the top five, and if you pick in the top five of this year’s draft you’re going to get a pretty good player.”
The Canes weren’t going to land that player Monday, and time will tell if holding on to the assets today will payoff for the team tomorrow.
Canes Practice Notes
Taking a Shot:
Justin Faulk led off shootout practice with some filth that beats Cam Ward. In case you didn’t know-filth is a good thing. Jussi Jokinen ends the shootout drill by beating Ward and Peters in round 2. The final 3 Jokinen Anthony Stewart and Jerome Samson, no idea if that means that Samson and Stewart who haven’t taken a shootout attempt for the Canes will get a crack, pretty certain it means Jussi Jokinen will be.
Goalie Cam Ward was in the pipes at practice and is expected back to game action this week, Brian Boucher is still about a week away. Forwards Chad LaRose, Jiri Tlusty and Pat Dwyer were missing from practice today with assorted injuries.
Jim Rutherford updated the injury situation, LaRose is a week away from game action, Tuomo Ruutu with his “upper body” concern is 2-3 weeks away, Joni Pitkanen who has been out since December with concussion and knee problems is 2-3 weeks away. Pat Dwyer injured in the Panthers game is out a few weeks.
The Canes have recalled Zach Boychuk from Charlotte on an emergency recall to take Dwyer’s spot.