It’s February Caniacs! That means Valentine’s Day, the celebration of Black History Month and in the hockey world, Intestinal Distress Month! Ok. Maybe that is only in my hockey world. I am fastening my seat-belt and holding on tight waiting to get through the trade deadline just like last year. If you have known me for over 30 seconds you know how I deal with trade discussions. I don’t! I subscribe to the fingers in the ears “La la la la la! I can’t HEAR you!” method or the ever-popular “earmuffs” method from the movie Old School.
No fellow Caniacs. I am not stupid. I know it’s all part of the business of hockey. It doesn’t mean I have to like it. Yesterday we started to see some action in the world of transactions. Actually, the movement began back on January 18th when the Hurricanes organization made a swap with the Florida Panthers as Jon Matsumoto and Mattias Lindstrom of the Checkers went out and A.J. Jenks and Evegenii Dadanov came in. The big club got the ball rolling on January 20th when the Hurricanes traded Alexei Ponikarovsky to the New Jersey Devils for defenseman Joe Sova and a fourth round draft pick.
In news that came as a surprise to many fans, forward Anthony Stewart was placed on waivers yesterday. We will know by noon if he is still Cane. For more about this decision and GM Jim Rutherford’s comments, check out Michael Smith’s post on the official website. I generally do not share my thoughts about these types of moves, because I am Southern and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings! (Also see “Intestinal Distress”) But I am okay with this move. Although he leads the team in +/-, I am not sure Stewart is the right fit for the fourth line. I know he has lots of potential, but I admit to being disappointed in what I have seen so far this season. Yes he’s a good guy in the room and I have a feeling no other man can hug Cam Ward quite the way Stewie can. Whether he stays or goes, I will be wishing him the best. He has a year left on his contract.
In other trade news that I am not talking about (see how I did that?), rumors are still swirling around the interwebs about one Mr. Tuomo Ruutu. It seems that many teams are interested in our 6’ 205lb gliding gladiator. Jim Rutherford has made comments indicating that he is going to be having discussions with Ruuty regarding his future. Known for his poker face and so called “pimp hand,” I am not inclined to believe anything Jim Rutherford says (See “Intestinal Distress”). I would hate to see Ruutu go as I think he is an integral part of the top six. I would like to see us acquire someone complimentary to Eric Staal so Ruuty can move back to his rightful place anchoring the “Finns and Skinns” line. You can put all the statistics on paper that you want but you cannot measure compete level and player chemistry (See “Erik Cole”). I encourage all suitors interested in our Finn to check out his numbers on this lovely site by TSN. It lists his injuries over the years and states that he is currently having a “cold” streak. See! You don’t want him anyway! (Caniacs, feel free to peruse the stats and remember he is currently our top goal scorer and those injury stat numbers stopped in 2010. Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone.). He will become an unrestricted free-agent at the end of this season and there is no new collective bargaining agreement in place for the league yet.
What does all of this mean? It means we wait. And wait some more. Will Stewie be in the lineup Wednesday against the Ducks? Do I need to start Ruu-ing, or boo-ing and boo-hoo-ing? Come back to Cardiac Cane for updates. In the meantime, I will be practicing my dance moves. I have a feeling I am going to need them for the long haul.
Updated 12:15pm: Anthony Stewart has cleared waivers
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