By PowerPlayCJ @powerplaywithcj on July 13, 2014
As Jim Rutherford prepares for his first season with the Pittsburgh Penguins, his past work record with the Carolina Hurricanes speaks for itself. While he made some great moves in Carolina (won 2006 Stanley Cup), a lot of them doomed the Hurricanes to the quagmire they’re in today. To understand what could happen in Pittsburgh with Rutherford at the helm, it is important to look back on the poor choices he made in Raleigh.
Signing the Russian star to a one year deal in 2012 was brilliant as he recorded a bounce-back point per game pace in the lockout-shortened season. Locking him up to a five-year, $ 7 million a year deal was beyond boneheaded as Semin returned to his inconsistent, enigmatic ways this past season.
The Canes drafted the former Lethbridge Hurricanes over the eventual Norris Trophy winner in 2008 and their blue line has suffered ever since. Boychuk has been in and out of the organization and for his faults defensively, Karlsson has become a superstar point producer for the Ottawa Senators.
Johnson was drafted by the Canes with the third Pick of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft and joined the Michigan Wolverines that season. At the end of his remarkable freshman year, Rutherford wanted Johnson to turn pro, but J.J. elected to return to Michigan to his chagrin. That fall, seemingly out of spite, Rutherford sent Johnson to the Kings where he established himself as a legitimate NHL defenseman before taking his talents to the Blue Jackets.
Reuniting the Staal brothers was a cute concept, but the king's ransom sent to the Pittsburgh Penguins to acquire Jordan didn’t make it worth it. Gritty center Brandon Sutter, up-and-coming defenseman Brian Dumoulin and a first-rounder that turned into potential superstar Derrick Pouliot gave the Penguins the win in the trade the minute it was made.
While giving up all he did for Staal was foolish, the contract Rutherford gave him was even more laughable. Ten years and $ 60 million for a player who has never scored 30 goals is the definition of reckless spending. To put it in perspective, Staal makes more than John Tavares, and for a “small-market” team like the Canes that consistently complains about money, it is absolutely hypocritical.
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