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Canes Quiet as Deadline Passes

Monday, 02.27.2012 / 4:10 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Canes Quiet as Deadline Passes


Once predicted by some to be big sellers at the trade deadline, the Carolina Hurricanes remained quiet throughout the day without any movement.

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Is Hurricanes President and General Manager Jim Rutherford satisfied with how Monday played out?

“I’m more than ok with it,” he said. “We’ve got some work to do here, and we certainly have to add another player or two for our team to … be a top-tier team going forward next year. With that being said, we have taken some strides forward as a team in many areas.”

Though defenseman Bryan Allen, 31, and Jaroslav Spacek, 38, were the two most often-mentioned names to be moved, the Canes held onto both players.

“The defensemen were the ones that got the most action,” Rutherford said. “Spacek was the guy teams called about, for the most part. But, we never got to the point of getting an offer.”

As for Allen, Rutherford said it made more sense to hold onto him and retain negotiation rights, rather than trade him and have to compete with 29 other teams to sign him come July 1.

“He wants to stay here. We all like him,” Rutherford said of Allen. “He brings more to the team than you see on the ice. He’s been a good player for us, but he’s a really good team guy. And we would really like to keep him here.”

In terms of hockey trades – trades that would bring key pieces to the Canes’ lineup, like a top-six forward – Rutherford said he never seriously entertained offers. The asking prices were too high, and he wasn’t going to give up a Brandon Sutter or a Jeff Skinner.

“We’ve built a structure here where we’re close to getting back to where we should be, but it’s going to be that big move that we really need to make if it comes available,” he said.

That move will likely be made in the off-season, when the Hurricanes pursue a top-tier forward, whether it’s via free agency or a trade.

“We need another top-flight forward to play with Eric Staal,” Rutherford said. “If we can maintain what we have now and add that player, then we’re getting real close to being a real good team again.”

Rutherford said that coaches Kirk Muller and John MacLean had “a lot of input on things they’d like to see” lineup-wise. It was all a part of bringing in new ideas from outside the organization.

“When Kirk came in, one of the things I talked about was wanting to see a good work ethic on a game-to-game basis. That’s something that we’ve gotten,” Rutherford said. “[Muller] has brought in new ideas and a work ethic that players have bought into.”

Despite the team’s improvement, Rutherford points to a weak November that may have sealed the team’s playoff fate. As Muller said this morning, acquiring a player at the deadline at the cost of sacrificing young prospects just to make a late-season playoff push doesn’t make sense.

“If the draft was today, we’d improve immediately because we’d be picking in the top five,” Rutherford said. “If you pick in the top five of this year’s draft, you’re going to get a pretty damn good player.

“We’re realistic where we are now,” he said. “The game against Florida the other night was a big setback for us. We could play extremely well, which we’re obligated to do as a partner in this League and for our players to learn how to win, and still pick in the top five.”

So, ultimately Monday’s deadline came and went as if it was just another day in the arduous National Hockey League season.

“For the most part, we felt like we were going to keep most of the players we had,” Rutherford said.

And they did, which sets the table for what could be an active summer.



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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 54 15 19 -13 34
J. Skinner 54 19 12 -3 31
V. Rask 52 12 19 0 31
J. Staal 54 12 19 8 31
K. Versteeg 53 10 21 1 31
E. Staal 54 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 54 8 16 -9 24
A. Nestrasil 47 7 12 0 19
J. Nordstrom 43 5 9 2 14
R. Hainsey 54 3 11 -11 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 6 .908 2.38
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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