New Jersey Devils General Manager Lou Lamoriello said he was ready to buy at the trade deadline with his team just two points of the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, and he’s now acquired forward Tuomu Ruutu from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Andrei Loktionov and a conditional third-round pick in 2017.
Ruutu, 31, is a left-handed shot who stands at 6’0″, 200 lbs, and has just five goals and 11 assists in 57 games this season. He had his best season in 2008-2009, with 26 goals and 28 assists in 79 games, and has 324 points in 606 games (138 goals, 186 assists). The Devils are obviously banking a change of scenery can help him, as he has two years left on a contract with a $4.75 million cap hit. Ruutu had to waive his no-movement clause to join the Devils.
I was a big fan Loktionov’s talent, a 23-year-old left-handed centre, but he hasn’t been able to put it together in the NHL. He has four goals and 12 assists in 48 games this season. Loktionov will be a restricted free agent this summer when his one-year, $725,000 contract expires.