One of the more disappointing aspects of the overall disappointing 2013 season for the Carolina Hurricanes was the performance of Tuomo Ruutu. Not that that’s entirely his fault, as his (lack of) health wouldn’t allow him to piece together any consistency in the limited time that he did see.
Due to a variety of injuries Ruutu was limited to only 17 games in 2013. His scoring rate was better than 2011-12, however, as he finished with nine points over that span. Of course, the time he did see after he appeared in late March, didn’t help the Hurricanes to climb out of their funk.
The reason Ruutu took so long to debut in 2013 was because of hip surgery. His return was much sooner than expected, as there were questions about whether or not he’d even return at all. Which means he may have come back too soon. In late May, he underwent another procedure on his hip.
That second surgery is expected to allow Ruutu to return in time for training camp. After that second surgery, one would imagine that Ruutu will head into the next season completely healthy. Which is huge, as the Hurricanes could use a return to form from the veteran forward.
Ruutu is a key two-way forward for the Hurricanes. He’s not the type of player that’s going to put up a ton of points, but is a good source of secondary scoring and a special teams asset. Though he’s not on a level with the likes of some of Carolina’s other top tier forwards, he’s still a key piece of this team nonetheless, and they need him healthy.