For the Carolina Hurricanes, this season has gone better than last, maybe the team isn’t where it wants to be yet, but the season could also be a lot worse.
One of the main reasons for that has been the excellent work that Jim Rutherford did over the summer and the course of this season.
From his free agent signings to his trades and to even his prospect signings, things could not be going much better for Rutherford.
The bigger signings have worked out beautifully: Gerbe has become a secondary scorer for the team on a cheap deal, Khudobin the starter, during Cam Ward‘s injury and possibly longer than that and Hainsey a reliable top-four defenseman that can log a ton of minutes.
Malhotra, who was signed after a tryout with the Charlotte Checkers, has been a great addition on the fourth line and has even picked up some goals. Komisarek has been a veteran defensemen that can pick up some games and Palsuhaj is a valuable call-up from Charlotte.
Gleason is playing well for the Maple Leafs, but Liles brought something the Canes desperately needed in a puck-moving defenseman that plays the power-play.
But Rutherford’s best move? Trading Jamie McBain and a second-round pick to the Buffalo Sabres for Andrej Sekera. The Slovakian defenseman has become a top-pairing defenseman for the Hurricanes and the perfect match for Justin Faulk.
Even Rutherford’s worst move wasn’t that bad. When he traded Jeremy Welsh and Zac Dalpe to the Vancouver Canucks for Kellan Tochkin and a fourth-round pick, Rutherford had to hold onto some of Welsh’s salary, had that not been included in the deal, there would be nothing bad about the trade.
Rutherford has made some great deals for the Carolina Hurricanes this season, as the schedule moves closer to the trade deadline, hopefully he can keep his excellent track record where it is for the season.