ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Carolina forward Tuomo Ruutu — one of the most talked-about players heading into the trade deadline — might not be going anywhere.
‘Canes GM Jim Rutherford told LeBrun he met with Ruutu and decided he wants to try and re-up with the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent. Ruutu, 28, leads the ‘Canes in goals this year and is coming off a 2010-11 campaign where he posted career highs in assists (38) and points (57). He’s in the final year of a deal that pays him $3.8 million annually.
While a big development in terms of shaping the trade market, Rutherford wanting to re-sign Ruutu isn’t a huge surprise, especially given what CBC’s Elliotte Friedman wrote in his most recent 30 Thoughts column:
Jim Rutherford knew that if he jettisoned [Tim] Gleason, it probably costs Carolina even more to replace him. (That’s one thing we often forget to consider in trades.) So, he’s considering the same possibility with Tuomo Ruutu. Rutherford’s asking a lot and is only getting nibbles.
That said, Ruutu staying in Carolina is far from a done deal. LeBrun said the two sides will discuss a contract over the next week and, should they fail to come to an agreement, Ruutu will likely be shipped out prior to (or at) the deadline.
Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.
Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.
This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.
“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”
While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”
And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.
Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.
In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.
Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks
A statement from Raffi Torres:
“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”
A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:
“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”
Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.