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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Trade Deadline Preview: Carolina Hurricanes

Wild on Sports
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NHL Trade Deadline Preview: 
Carolina Hurricanes
By Wild on Sports Analyst Brian Peirce

I am starting off with these Canes because they have made a waiver move today, picking up former first round pick Zach Boychuk, who was waived by both the Penguins and Predators this year. They also activated Ruutu off of the IR giving them some options up front for a team that currently ranks 9th in goals per game.

I would say the fact that they are in the hunt solidly in the East combined with one of the best top six groups in the league now that Ruutu has returned, (provided he returns to form following hip surgery) they are looking to be buyers over sellers. This became even stronger when they placed defensemen Joe Corvo on the IR and had three other defensemen injured in one game. Now Corvo is listed as day to day and only Faulk looks to miss any significant time with a sprained knee.

Considering they have a shot at the playoffs, having invested enough to be a top ten offensive team and their their defense is banged up and using young players; it stands to reason that they might go after defensive help. This is going to be hard to come by and you will hear me say often that there are not going to be many sellers of defense. The recent moves will likely fall under the cliché of “a deadline deal” in the eyes of Carolina. As much as I hate calling players getting healthy an acquisition as some GM’s do to protect their images, Ruutu and Boychuk will bring added grit and defensive skill to a team that is in need of it.

If they fall out of it, Ruutu might become available like he was rumored to be last year if he decided to waive the NMC. Jussi Jokinen could be a big rumored player to move as well, as he has been in the past. With Tlusty becoming a household name, at least in the area, they could see either of those guys as luxuries rather than necessities. Semin had a one year deal and would be a huge prize in the rental market as he is one of the hottest players in the league. I could also see Chad LaRose as a rental to a team looking for a solid bottom six player, he was a big part of their cup run a few years back and the rangers were looking for someone like him. There might also be some interest in dealing Ellis to a team looking for a veteran goaltender. Peters looks on par with him and if the season gets away from them they might just want to get him experience while getting rental value out of Dan. Either way I think Ellis plays somewhere else next year.

Beyond that it is up in the air for Carolina, no pun intended. They have 16 players signed next season with 51.2 million tied up. 13 million for six or so players is pretty tight so I wouldn’t expect them to add someone like Bouwmesster if they are buyers. Corvo and Semin could be in line for bigger contracts as well, so they might want to move some salary as well. They seem like an interesting possibility for a real hockey move where they move player for player.

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