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Canes Stay Relatively Quiet on Deadline Day

Wednesday, 04.3.2013 / 4:45 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Canes Stay Relatively Quiet on Deadline Day


After the Carolina Hurricanes made a move on Tuesday to acquire a defenseman, the team made just one trade as the deadline passed on Wednesday afternoon.

Michael Smith
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In their lone transaction, the Hurricanes sent Jussi Jokinen to Pittsburgh for a conditional sixth or seventh round 2013 draft choice, a move that was telegraphed last week when the team waived the 30-year-old forward. As a component of the trade, Carolina is retaining a portion of Jokinen’s salary, though the team is not disclosing the amount.

“The main point of Jussi’s deal wasn’t about him or him as a player,” said team President and General Manager Jim Rutherford. “It was more about preparing for where we go in the future with our payroll.”

As far as other potential trades go, Rutherford said there wasn’t one to be made, a sentiment that seemed consistent around the league right up until the last hour before the 3 p.m. deadline when activity escalated.

“Based on the position we have put ourselves in over the last two or three weeks, I wasn’t going to trade younger players or high draft picks for somebody that may or may not make a difference here in the last month,” Rutherford said. “There weren’t any deals that made sense for us.”

With asking prices high and the pool of quality available players thin, Rutherford wasn’t too optimistic of making a big splash heading into today.

“I think there were more deals made prior to deadline day,” he said. “Overall, I don’t think there were as many players available that could really impact and make a different in what we’re doing.”

Given where the Hurricanes sit in the standings – not too far out of the playoff race to be sellers, yet not solidly ensconced in postseason position to be buyers – Rutherford said he wasn’t going to make a move that compromised the future of the team on a short-term risk.

“As much as I would have liked to have made a deal, there wasn’t any deal that made any sense. How aggressive do you get on making a deal, and how far do you want to go?” he said, noting he wasn’t going to trade high draft choices or a prospect like Zac Dalpe. “This is about a tough of a position to be in – a team on a big losing streak, we know we’re a better team than we’re playing and not having any deal that made sense for us that could give us a little boost.”

So, with just over three weeks remaining in this shortened regular season, the Hurricanes will make a final push for the playoffs with their current roster. It’s a group of players that has been successful; as recently as early March, the team had won six of seven and sat comfortably atop the Southeast Division. But fleeting positive results over the last three weeks have left Rutherford nonplussed.

“[I’m] about as frustrated as you can get,” he said, matter-of-factly. “Certainly, we’re not sitting here saying it’s over. But the most frustrating part is, in the first part of the season, we showed what kind of team we had. We were a very capable team, and we played very well.

“The real point here is to put the best product on the ice that we can. I believe we had a good product, and as we speak today, we don’t.”

Injuries certainly haven’t helped the Hurricanes’ cause as of late. Losing goaltender Cam Ward for what is likely the remainder of the regular season and defenseman Justin Faulk, who eats up ice time rather effectively on the back-end, has left the team with near irreplaceable holes, gaps that even trades could not fill.

“The guy that we miss the most is Faulk. To me, he’s our No. 1 defenseman,” Rutherford said. “When he’s in the lineup, he makes a difference. We talk about missing Cam, but I’d say Justin Faulk falls right in line with Cam as a guy who has really hurt us being out of the lineup.”

That said, time and games in hand still could work in favor of the Hurricanes, who are just four points out of first place in the division with 13 games remaining.

“We have to win a couple of games to get some confidence,” Rutherford said. “We have to get on a little bit of a roll with one goalie who can come in and really get on a confidence run. If we do that, it’s not out of reach.”



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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 54 40 10 4 178 124 84
2 FLA 56 32 18 6 153 132 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 BOS 55 30 19 6 163 150 66
5 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
6 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
7 NYI 54 29 19 6 153 137 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 56 28 21 7 124 124 63
10 CAR 56 25 21 10 137 146 60
11 PHI 54 24 20 10 128 140 58
12 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
13 OTT 57 25 26 6 159 177 56
14 CBJ 57 23 28 6 144 175 52
15 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
16 TOR 54 20 25 9 127 151 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 54 15 19 -13 34
V. Rask 54 14 19 2 33
J. Staal 56 12 21 8 33
J. Skinner 56 19 13 -1 32
K. Versteeg 55 11 21 1 32
E. Staal 56 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 56 8 17 -9 25
A. Nestrasil 49 9 12 1 21
J. Nordstrom 45 5 11 2 16
R. Hainsey 56 3 11 -11 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 16 11 7 .909 2.35
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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