On the one hand, it’s nice to see Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford actually making strides to unload dead weight from the team and spruce the joint up a little. On the other, some of the names being brought up in these trade rumors will make you shake your head, fists or both.
It’s almost a given that defenseman Tim Gleason‘s days in Raleigh are numbered. Only weeks ago, trades being discussed for Gleason seemed preposterous. At this point, it’s almost a situation of “get whatever you can for him and pray they can skate.” It remains true that Toronto Maple Leafs part-time defenseman John-Michael Liles is a worse idea than the Cooperall. As the plot thickens however, things get more and more cloudy.
Liles continues to be a name thrown around. Multiple reports now have Tuomo Ruutu‘s name being brought up as well. According to TSN insider Darren Dreger, Carolina had offered Ruutu to the Maple Leafs, who politely said “no thank you.” Whether or not the Gleason-Liles trade happens remains to be seen. Since Carolina could likely do much better than Liles, cooler heads need to prevail.
As if the situation wasn’t weird enough, reports late last week had New York Rangers defenseman Michel Del Zotto being up for grabs. While it’s been common knowledge the Rangers want no part of Ruutu, the Dallas Stars reportedly do. These are the same Stars to whom Rutherford has been talking regarding Erik Cole, who they can’t seem to get rid of fast enough since they’d be willing to take an injured Gleason and the cap hit he brings along.
The triangle of Del Zotto-Ruutu-Cole brings about some interesting scenarios, most of them requiring a whiteboard and calculator. Yet, a simple three-way trade sending Del Zotto to Carolina, Ruutu to Dallas and Cole to the Ranger’s farm system, where he belongs with a draft pick or three, is not entirely inconceivable.
Not to mention, it would be mutually beneficial for everyone not named the Rangers. The willingness of New York to move Del Zotto is up for debate and varies depending on who’s giving the report. With Ruutu and Gleason’s names both being brought up in trade rumors, it’s clear that the Hurricanes want to clean house. Want positive proof? Reports also have Jiri Tlusty being shown the door.
Tlusty has had issues with head coach Kirk Muller, who started withholding ice time from him last week. This is a great way to get him to perform better. It is also the same logic banks use when they charge you for not having enough money in your account. That’ll get the balance up just as well as sitting on a bench will get Tlusty’s game improved.
Trade talk with Tlusty has been simmering since before the holiday weekend, but nothing has come of it.
Reports strictly on the Hurricanes’ end of moving Gleason, Ruutu and Tlusty out of town are actually pretty good. The reports of Cole being in the conversation should make every hockey fan east of Burlington tighten their seatbelts for what could be Rutherford’s piece de resistance of idiotic decisions.