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.