The Hurricanes went ahead and traded Tuomo Ruutu to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Andrei Loktionov, a conditional third-round pick and presumably a washing machine and Starbucks gift card. After the trade, Hurricanes GM and talking brick Jim Rutherford commented that the team was more than likely done for the day and would carry three goaltenders for the remainder of the year.
With this complete farce of a trade — that is already being called a “salary dump” — Rutherford has clearly stopped caring.
It remains fact that Ruutu has had injury issues and was never really known for his quick healing time. That’s fine, and he was taking up cap space. However, for that to be the only move made, of all the possible moves out there, is inexcusable.
There were hopes Rutherford would deal the embattled Cam Ward for either scoring or defense. That didn’t happen, as the goaltender buyers disappeared in a hurry. The re-signing of Anton Khudobin brought some hope that perhaps there was something nobody had thought of. There wasn’t, and Rutherford publicly cashed in his chips with more than an hour before the deadline.
Why the dump? It makes no sense. Rutherford has been planning for the future for the last six seasons. All he’s been doing is planning for the future. The newsflash needs to be placed on his desk that the future is now. Plan for now. Make now a viable playoff situation, and the future will take care of itself.
For Rutherford to trade a starter for a guy with one goal in the last 10 games — and only four all year — is insane unless accompanied by something. It cannot be asked enough: What future?
It’s finally time for the Hurricanes to second guess not only Rutherford’s commitment to winning, but perhaps his powers of reason and accountability. The Rutherford era needs to be over.