Ruutu out three weeks, trade deadline enthusiasts weep


Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News and Observer reports that Hurricanes forward Tuomo Ruutu will miss the next three weeks of action with an upper-body injury, casting doubt on his availability for the Feb. 27 trade deadline.

Ruutu suffered the injury during Monday’s win over Montreal after absorbing what appeared to be an innocuous hit from Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec. The incident occurred just three minutes into the first period — Ruutu immediately left the contest and did not return.

Ruutu is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and is seen by many as the marquee name available at the deadline. That said, Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford is exploring the possibility of re-signing him before Feb. 27.

“[The injury] will have no impact,” Rutherford said. “The fact that we’d like him to stay and like to re-sign him has not changed in any way.”

Ruutu leads the ‘Canes in goals, with 17, and is tied for second on the team in scoring with 30 points. He’s also one of only six Hurricanes with a plus rating this year (+3) and leads Carolina in hits, with 106.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.