About a week and a half ago, Darren Dreger reported that the Carolina Hurricanes were interested in John-Michael Liles. Tonight he reported another rumor:
…And yes, I did say on Sportscentre the Hurricanes have offered Ruutu and Tlusty to teams. Part of Canes search for a puck-moving d-man.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) November 23, 2013
It’s not surprising at all that the Canes are trying to move Tuomo Ruutu. He’s overpaid at $4.75 million a year and is not playing well at all this season.
However, Jiri Tlusty is a bit of a surprise. He’s not playing well either and was demoted to the fourth line in previous games, but has a cheap cap hit at $1.4 million and showed last year he has a scoring touch playing an integral part on the first line.
As for the Hurricanes looking for a puck-moving defenseman, a week ago I would have said there was no point, but now it seems the team desperately needs another puck-mover on the back end to improve the power play and transition game.
With the Canes shopping Tlusty, it seems the team is looking for a stronger defenseman than Liles. The former Avalanche isn’t playing in the NHL this year and is signed through the 2015-16 season at $3.875 million.
Tlusty carries more trade value given his own cap hit, age and last year’s production.
If the Hurricanes are actually shopping the Czech, it could mean his future in Raleigh is numbered already. Tlusty will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season and if the team is already trying to trade him, it’s unlikely Jim Rutherford will give him more money and a longer term in the summer.