Tracking the Storm

Rutherford "Hopeful" on Jokinen, Pitkanen

Saturday, 06.25.2011 / 2:18 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Rutherford \"Hopeful\" on Jokinen, Pitkanen

Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford has said throughout the weekend that he’s closing in on signing his unrestricted free agents, but it appears he’s made more progress than he even anticipated.

Paul Branecky
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In addition to Erik Cole and Chad LaRose, players he’s wanted to re-sign but has not been able to with the July 1 deadline fast approaching, Rutherford said Saturday that he now believes he has a shot of bringing back Jussi Jokinen and Joni Pitkanen, who had seemed a virtual certainty to test the open market.

“We didn’t think we were going to have a chance on Pitkanen and Jokinen, but I’m actually at this point hopeful that we have a chance at both those guys now,” he said.

The Hurricanes’ general manager cited face-to-face contact with agents at the NHL Entry Draft as the catalyst for headway on all fronts.

“We’ve made a lot of progress this weekend,” he said. “For some reason there was a lack of communication with agents for a month. I don’t know if they went on vacation or where they were, but the fact that we got face-to-face with some of them, I’ve made good progress on some of the UFAs.

“I would expect by Tuesday of next week we’ll be able to announce a few signings.”

If Rutherford is able to do so, that would preclude the earlier desire to replace departing players via trade, which he had pursued as recently as last week. Rutherford said that he had discussed two deals, one of which is believed to have hit a snag at the very last minute, but that he is no longer close to any trade.

“We had two going in the last three weeks, and they’re gone now,” he said.

Much more from day two of the draft coming soon.


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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72