Canes trade Ruutu to Devils for Loktionov

calexander@newsobserver.comMarch 5, 2014 

The Carolina Hurricanes traded popular forward Tuomo Ruutu to the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday in exchange for forward Andrei Loktionov and a conditional draft pick.

Loktionov, 23, has four goals and eight assists in 48 games with New Jersey during his first full NHL season. A native of Voskresensk, Russia, he made his NHL debut for Los Angeles during the 2009-10 season before suffering a shoulder injury. He returned to action the following year and was a member of the Kings’ Stanley Cup Championship team in 2011-12.

Loktionov has totaled 38 points and 20 penalty minutes in 135 career games with Los Angeles and New Jersey.

"We think he has a high skill level and he can play on the power play," Canes general manager Jim Rutherford said. "We have to wait and see where he fits in best.

“When he was in Los Angeles he played well. When he was with New Jersey and playing with (Ilya) Kovalchuk, he played well. This year his ice time was cut back. We don't know the reason why but he's certainly a very capable player."

Ruutu, 31, was traded to the Canes on Feb. 26, 2008, by the Chicago Blackhawks for forward Andrew Ladd. He helped the Canes reach the Eastern Conference finals in 2009 and became a crowd favorite among Canes fans with his physical style of play.

Ruutu's bruising style took a physical toll, however. He has undergone shoulder surgery and surgeries on both hips.

Ruutu signed a three-year, $11.4 million contract extension in July 2009 after scoring a career-high 26 goals in the 2008-2009 season. On Feb. 22, 2012, he signed a four-year extension worth $19 million.

"Tuomo was a good player for us but injuries have been an issue for him," Rutherford said. "He's at the point now where he is healthy and getting his game back, but based on the return on investment we decided to take advantage of the opportunity to get a younger player for him with a good upside."

Ruutu played for Finland in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and the 2014 Sochi Olympics as the Finns won a bronze medal in each Olympics.

Loktionov will be a restricted free agent after the season. Ruutu will be paid $5 million each of the next two seasons.

The conditional draft pick obtained by the Canes is a third-round selection in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service