President and General Manager Jim Rutherford and the Carolina Hurricanes were in California prior to the NHL’s 3 p.m. trade deadline on Wednesday. Following a team practice on Thursday, Rutherford addressed the media and discussed the lone transaction of the day, the ongoing goaltending situation, what could happen in the summer and more.
The full 13-minute press conference is available above. Below are some notable snippets.
“You guys been sitting here since 3 yesterday afternoon,” he joked as he walked into the room.
On accomplishing what the front office set out to do on Wednesday: “The priority certainly was to see if we could move Tuomo’s contract, so that was the main goal. In that respect, yes [we accomplished everything we set out to do]. The goalie situation was sitting out there. We had made a decision a couple of days prior to the deadline that we were going to keep three (goaltenders) and sort this out in the summertime. We listened to different things about players that were out there, but based on the rental prices and the term that players had in their contracts, we really didn’t see anything that would make our team better.”
On why Tuomo Ruutu was moved: “When we break it down as a management team, your top forwards need to play in the top six. As time has gone on, he is not in our top six. From a financial point of view, it doesn’t make sense to continue to carry that type of player. From a physical point of view, it’s something we may have to address in the off-season. As much as I like Tuomo and as much as I think his game is starting to turn around now, he wasn’t giving us as much [offensive production] as we would have liked.”
On if the team is retaining a portion of Ruutu’s contract: “Yes, but we don’t talk about how much.”
On how actively the team pursued moving one of the three goaltenders before the deadline: “Not overly active. I listened to what other teams had to say. Obviously that’s something I should do; you never know what might come up. But we had made a decision that our preference was to really take a good look at it in the summertime and see where we’re going to go.”
On re-evaluating the goaltending situation this summer: “We have a lot of respect for all three of our goalies, and I just think making a quick decision through the trade deadline was not the right thing to do.”
On why the Canes were neither buyers nor sellers at the deadline: “If we wanted to just dump a few more players, we could have yesterday. The reason we didn’t is because, despite the fact that the odds are against us, we’re still trying to make the playoffs.”
On the team moving forward: “Everything will be evaluated at the end of the season as to whether we’re going in the right direction or we need to go in a different direction. But I will say that I feel the same way about this team today as I did at the start of the season: we have a pretty good team, and a much-improved team.”
On what he would like to see on the power play: “A goal. And then I’ll go beyond that and say a lot of goals.”
On the possibility of the Canes’ participation in an outdoor game, whether as the home team or visiting team: “We’ve had talk about it, more of a casual conversation with the league. It’s not something we’d look at for next year, but as this goes along, it’s maybe something we need to look at in the next few years. It’d be a great event here. … As long as NC State agreed to have a game there, we have a stadium there and an arena here, you could really make it such a huge event. Of course, we’d have to make sure we get some cool days and not one of those warmer winter days, but I think it’d be a lot of fun to have and something we’ll continue to talk about.”
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