Tag: Jarkko Ruutu

Erik Karlsson

Norris winner Karlsson close to lockout deal with Finnish team

2012 Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson is close to finding lockout work.

According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, the Swedish-born defenseman is close to landing a deal with Jokerit of the SM-liiga. Karlsson would be bringing his high-scoring game to a team that already has Detroit Red Wings forward Valtteri Filppula and a host of other former NHL players including Jarkko Ruutu and Wings prospect Teemu Pulkkinen.

As we’ve heard already today, other Senators are busy working out on their own in Ottawa and Sergei Gonchar is playing for Magnitogorsk (alongside Evgeni Malkin) in the KHL.

Still need free agent pickups? Buyer beware as free agent crop is awfully thin now

Alex Kovalev

It’s nearly been a week since free agency began to officially kick off the NHL offseason. After all the signings we’ve had since last Friday, chances are if you haven’t found what you’ve needed for your team you might be out of luck. If you’re wondering who else is still out there, CapGeek has been doing a good job of keeping their lists updated as to who your team might be interested in.

Of course, if your team is in dire need of help virtually anywhere around the ice, they might be in some big trouble. As for who the best of the rest might be, we’ll take a look at each set of positions (forwards, defensemen, goalies) and show you who the next wave of guys to sign might end up being.


Depending on what your needs are, you could still find a little bit of what you’re after. If you need depth scoring and perhaps an aging veteran to spice things up there’s no one better to pick than Alex Kovalev. He’s 38 years-old and coming off a season that saw him split time with Ottawa and Pittsburgh scoring a total of 16 goals adding 18 assists.

source: Getty ImagesIf Kovalev doesn’t do it for you, there’s always the slightly younger Sergei Samsonov. Last season, Samsonov split time with Carolina and Florida scoring a total of 13 goals with 27 assists. Through his whole career he’s been a 40-point player so if you need a little scoring on your third line, go for it. The other more interesting skill forwards to be had include: Cory Stillman, Vinny Prospal, Nikolai Zherdev, and Rob Schremp.

If you’re in need of a speedy winger that can help kill penalties, Fredrik Sjostrom is available as is Steve Bernier. If you’d rather have a physical winger guys like Mike Grier, Brad Winchester, Ethan Moreau, and Eric Boulton. If you’d rather sign an older center who may just have a year or two left in them there’s always Mike Modano, Kris Draper, Brendan Morrison, or John Madden.

Then again, if signing agitators and fighters is what your team needs look no further than Jarkko Ruutu, Eric Godard, or Cam Janssen. With Godard you get a guy that will come off of the bench to defend your goalie in a fight and with Janssen he’ll make sure to book his fights in advance on Twitter.

The selections here aren’t mind-blowing, but if depth is what you need then you’re in luck. There’s also Teemu Selanne who’s technically a free agent but if he doesn’t play for Anaheim, he’s probably not playing in the NHL ever again. Sorry Winnipeg.


source: Getty ImagesIf you’re in need of a top flight defenseman, you’re better off trying to swing a trade elsewhere. If you’re looking for a second or third pairing guy then there’s a few choices that could pan out well and play in certain roles well. If your team needs another power play quarterback type Bryan McCabe is available. Other offensive-like guys are Anton Stralman and Sami Lepisto who were both set free from Columbus.

Defensive defensemen are key as well and should a team need a guy that can body up reasonably well and play sound defensively former Caps defenseman Scott Hannan or Habs blue liner Brent Sopel could work out well. Hannan is a bit more physical while Sopel will also double up and block shots as well. Former Predators defenseman Shane O’Brien could fit the bill for that role as well although his penchant for bad penalties could scare teams off.

Paul Mara could also be a nice complimentary defensive role player, especially if you’re in need of a guy to get in Alex Ovechkin’s business often. Other names to be found here: Anssi Salmela, Freddy Meyer, Karlis Skrastins, Steve Eminger, Jason Strudwick, and Mike Lundin.

If your team is in need of guys that have wild last names, defense is where it’s at with both Jeff Woywitka and Severin Blindenbacher both formerly with Dallas.

source: Getty Images


Here’s where things get dicey, there’s not many guys left if you want someone with NHL experience. Of those available you have your choice between a guy who’s still young but injury prone in Pascal Leclaire, feel-good veteran in Ray Emery, perennial backup favorite Ty Conklin, and elder statesman Chris Osgood.

Failing that a team could try to keep Marty Turco away from being a TV star or could think that Joey MacDonald did enough with Detroit last season to earn a backup job.

As it is, most jobs are spoken for in goal both in starting and backing up and Detroit is the one high profile spot remaining and that could be down to Ty Conklin or another year on pins and needles with Osgood.

Jarkko Ruutu receives one-game suspension for late hit on Martin Erat


The NHL decided to hand a one-game suspension to Anaheim Ducks pest Jarkko Ruutu for delivering a late elbow on Nashville Predators forward Martin Erat, according to Eric Stephens. (You can find video footage of the hit here.)

As manic as the league’s discipline process has been (and, as we’ll discuss soon, as manic as its main disciplinarian may seem), this punishment follows recent trends. The most obvious parallel is the one-game suspension the league handed to Pittsburgh Penguins forward Chris Kunitz. Ruutu’s elbow was similar to Kunitz’s elbow on Simon Gagne mainly because both moments were away from the puck and unnecessary.

Ruutu’s infraction might be a bit worse, though, especially since the hit will keep Erat out of a pivotal Game 5. (While it seems wrong that the severity of an injury factors into a suspension verdict, it seems like it does in some cases.)

It’s also a more problematic hit because Ruutu is a player with plenty of ugly moments on his resume. Ruutu was suspended for two games for biting another player on January 7, 2009 and two games on November 12, 2008 for another elbow.

There’s one last reason that hits like Ruutu’s need to be eliminated from the league: he serves little purpose aside from doing this sort of thing. Predators coach Barry Trotz spoke with the Tennessean about the hit and Ruutu’s “role.”

Here are some of Trotz’s comments:

  • On the hit: “It was a late hit. The Ducks are whining and complaining that they’re the ones being targeted or whatever. They’ve had guys suspended, late hit, we lose a good player.”
  • On Ruutu: “Ruutu doesn’t even dress. He’s a five-minute player for them. And we lose a top player.”
  • On trying to replace Erat in the lineup: “It’s just like (the Ducks’) Bobby Ryan. You can’t replace Marty Erat in our lineup.”

In the context of the 2011 playoffs, this judgment seems about right, but I wouldn’t have disagreed with a two-game suspension either. It almost make me wonder if the NHL should follow the example of public high schools by threatening these Matt Cooke-type players with flat-out expulsion in the future.

The NHL doesn’t need to extract all of the physicality out of its game, but they shouldn’t justify the existence of cheap shot artists, either. Whether this verdict was harsh enough or not, I doubt this will change what Ruutu does for a living.