A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Canes and Hawks swap players again.

For what seems like the hundredth time in the past three seasons, the Hurricanes and Blackhawks made a trade.
In what was a very long time coming, Andrew Ladd was traded away for a centerman. Carolina made a deal in the 2004 Entry Draft, trading up to get Ladd with the fourth overall pick. Expectations were high, and the hope was that he would be a power forward.

In Ladd's short career, he's been hampered with injuries and a much slower than expected development. It's become evident that he's not going to be an upper echelon player. At least not in Carolina. He's been more of the "role player", and his size and strength are wasted in that capacity. Coach Peter Laviolette tried putting Ladd on the top line, the second line, just about everywhere. Unfortunately, nothing has worked. Ladd has brief flashes, but most of the time it's just frustrating.

Partly for Andrew, and partly to fulfill on of Carolina's needs, he was shipped today to Chicago for center Tuomu Ruutu. Admittedly, I knew very little about Ruutu. Just that he's Finnish and that his brother has a reputation for being dirty.

Ruutu can play center or right wing, isn't afraid to hit, and is good for about 40 points a season.

After the trade went down, Ruutu's flight from Chicago to Raleigh was delayed substantially. The News & Observer was reporting that he would arrive in Raleigh at 6:30 and wouldn't have time to make it to the rink for the game. Apparently his flight landed at 6:24, and he was given a police escort from RDU airport to the arena. It's only about 10 miles, but a difficult task to make that trip during rush hour.

Ruutu made it to the arena (barely)in time, dressed, and had a heck of a game. He led the Hurricanes with three hits. He led the Hurricanes with two blocked shots. He had two takeaways, one assists, and finished with a +1 rating. He also earned the third star of the night.

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