Years ago when much of the energy I currently spend blogging was once spent obsessing over fantasy hockey, Tuomo Ruutu was very much on my radar as a Chicago Blackhawk. The hype was that Ruutu had that rare blend of power (aka the ability to take a lot of penalties, which is good in the alternate universe that is fantasy hockey) and scoring.
Naturally, though, only bad things could happen to such a player in the pre-Kane, “Dollar Bill” Wirtz era and that’s what often happened to Ruutu. His 2005-06 season was particularly difficult as he only managed to play in 15 games.
Then again, he has been pretty healthy lately (despite the fact that he typically takes just as much as he dishes out) and seemed like he turned his career around since being traded from the Blackhawks to the Hurricanes. Unfortunately, it seems as if the Finnish ruffian will have to wait until next season to continue his maturation because he’ll miss the rest of the 2009-10 campaign thanks to shoulder surgery, according to USA Today.
Coach Paul Maurice said after practice Wednesday that forward Tuomo Ruutu will have season-ending shoulder surgery on Thursday but that injured goalie Cam Ward could return within a week.
Ruutu initially injured his right shoulder during a fight with Colorado’s Darcy Tucker on Jan. 8. The physical forward missed 15 games and fought the injury even after his return, Maurice said, adding that in recent games against Phoenix and Boston, “I thought he was trying to hit everything that moved.”
As you can see, the good news is that goalie Cam Ward looks set to return soon. Of course, that won’t really matter much this year since it’s probably already too late for (another) miracle playoff run in Carolina.