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Lamoriello: 'We feel good about' Ruutu deal

Wednesday, 03.5.2014 / 5:03 PM ET / News
New Jersey Devils
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Lamoriello: \'We feel good about\' Ruutu deal
Lamoriello: \'We feel good about\' Ruutu deal





 
On a busy trade deadline day across the NHL, the Devils quietly added a valuable veteran asset for the final homestretch of the regular season.

New Jersey acquired forward Tuomo Ruutu from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for forward Andrei Loktionov and a conditional third-round pick in 2017.

A former ninth-overall selection, Ruutu has five goals and 11 assists in 57 games this season with the Hurricanes. But his résumé includes two seasons with 20-plus goals, including a career-high 26 in 2008-09, and he’s coming off of his second straight Olympic bronze medal with Finland.

"We’re always trying to get better,” said general manager Lou Lamoriello, whose Devils have taken three of four since the Olympic break following Tuesday’s win over Detroit.

"There’s a price that you have to pay and you have to weigh what’s too high and what’s too low. But we feel very good about this addition, because he’s also here for a couple of years. He’s 31 years old, he takes care of himself. He knows how to play. He brings a certain dimension I think we need."

Ruutu will travel east from San Jose, where the Hurricanes played Tuesday, and is expected to practice in New Jersey on Thursday. He’ll make his Devils debut Friday against the Red Wings.

Here's more of what Lamoriello had to say about the newest Devil:

Did you achieve what you wanted to today?
Lamoriello: Our intention certainly was to get a top-nine forward with a lot of grit, who competes and has a habit of playing in big games. We’ve played enough against [Ruutu] over the years. We feel good about it.

Where do you think he fits?
Lamoriello: The coaches will decide that as far as what’s best. We’re fortunate enough to have several players who can fit in different positions. Other than two or three, they can all be interchangeable, so it’s going to be the line combinations that the coaches feel. He’s a left shot, but can play anywhere.

What’s been the scouting report?
Lamoriello: He does the things that we like to see. He gets right in your face.

Does he have special teams capability?
Lamoriello: He’s played in all situations. He’s not a player that’s one-dimensional. He was a pretty high draft pick, we remember him from his draft year when Chicago took him. He’s been consistent and he’s scored. He’s had a 26-goal season, so it’s not something that he’s not capable of doing. He’s delighted to be here. He had to make the decision to come here because he has a no-trade clause, so that decision was on him 100 percent. He had a choice and he came here.

Are you still pretty confident about your playoff shot?
Lamoriello: I will tell you this: I was confident prior to making this transaction about this team. I think that some of our players are just starting to find themselves after the break. We’ve got a couple of others that I think are really ready to achieve. We’re a team, we have to play like a team. Our coaching staff has done an excellent job of maximizing that. I think once you get in the playoffs, it’s anybody’s chance, but you have to get there first. We’re right there in the mix. We have to win. It’s as simple as that. I don’t know of any other way of putting it.

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 CBJ 74 35 35 4 203 230 74
13 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 67 16 24 -2 40
M. Cammalleri 60 25 12 5 37
S. Gomez 50 7 24 -7 31
P. Elias 61 10 20 -16 30
S. Bernier 59 13 14 3 27
T. Zajac 66 11 12 -2 23
A. Larsson 56 3 19 3 22
A. Greene 74 3 17 5 20
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
E. Gelinas 54 6 11 -2 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 27 8 .928 2.19
K. Kinkaid 5 4 3 .919 2.42