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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





 
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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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
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11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
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13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

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2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Palmieri 82 30 27 3 57
A. Henrique 80 30 20 10 50
T. Zajac 74 14 28 3 42
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
D. Severson 72 1 20 -8 21
R. Boucher 39 8 11 -13 19
D. Schlemko 67 6 13 -22 19
J. Moore 73 4 15 -12 19
A. Larsson 82 3 15 15 18
J. Blandisi 41 5 12 -14 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 27 25 6 .924 2.15
K. Kinkaid 9 9 1 .904 2.81
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