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Canes Quiet as Deadline Passes

Monday, 02.27.2012 / 4:10 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith

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

Michael Smith
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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.





1 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
2 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
3 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
4 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
5 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
6 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
7 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
8 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79


E. Staal 79 21 40 -13 61
J. Skinner 71 33 21 -14 54
A. Sekera 74 11 33 4 44
A. Semin 65 22 20 1 42
J. Staal 82 15 25 2 40
J. Faulk 76 5 27 -9 32
N. Gerbe 81 16 15 -6 31
J. Tlusty 68 16 14 2 30
R. Nash 73 10 14 0 24
P. Dwyer 75 8 14 -2 22
A. Khudobin 19 14 1 .926 2.30
C. Ward 10 12 6 .898 3.06