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NEWS

Lamoriello: 'We feel good about' Ruutu deal

Wednesday, 03.05.2014 / 5:03 PM / 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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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 PIT 32 22 6 4 102 72 48
2 NYI 33 23 10 0 104 91 46
3 MTL 34 21 11 2 92 83 44
4 TBL 35 20 11 4 113 93 44
5 DET 34 17 8 9 94 84 43
6 TOR 34 19 12 3 114 102 41
7 WSH 33 17 10 6 97 86 40
8 NYR 31 17 10 4 93 81 38
9 BOS 34 17 14 3 86 88 37
10 FLA 31 14 9 8 69 79 36
11 OTT 34 14 14 6 90 94 34
12 PHI 33 13 14 6 92 99 32
13 CBJ 33 14 16 3 80 107 31
14 NJD 35 12 17 6 77 102 30
15 BUF 34 13 18 3 66 109 29
16 CAR 33 9 20 4 68 92 22

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 28 9 11 0 20
J. Jagr 34 5 15 -11 20
M. Zidlicky 35 4 13 -5 17
M. Cammalleri 23 11 4 0 15
M. Ryder 33 4 10 -1 14
P. Elias 29 4 9 -16 13
D. Severson 32 4 8 -4 12
E. Gelinas 28 4 6 2 10
A. Greene 35 0 9 -3 9
T. Zajac 27 4 4 -6 8
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Kinkaid 1 1 2 .939 1.75
C. Schneider 11 16 3 .915 2.57