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mluther9

Ruutu Re-signed (confirmed)

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JR has said for a couple of years that he wants a bigger, more physical element on the team. Not that this team won't hit, but he wants to see more of it. By adding Alberts and Kostopoulos he is making good on that. So, in addition to his scoring Ruutu's hitting and positive attitude make him a key player in that physical edge so JR really needed to lock him up and explains why he may have slightly overpaid to keep him for 3 years. Also, others have pointed out that there will be a lot of key players' contracts coming up, not good to have added Ruutu's name to the list if they went arbitration. Also arbitration tends to have a negative effect on the player's attitude and messing with Ruutu's great attitude would have been suboptimal.

Lastly Ruutu is even more important on a team that has only 2/3 guys needed for a legit 1st line. Ruutu, based on last year's numbers can be put on the first line with a straight face. Cole, not so much.

I don't put player's names on my jersey (something about paying $75 for a $10 stitch job) but I would seriously consider putting Ruutu on there. He brings as many intangibles as LaRose, with significantly more natural ability. Considering Whitney's age and Brindy's lost step, Ruutu and Cullen are the most important forwards on the team not named Staal.

Great signing. Now get me a first line winger and a servicable top 4 dman and we are ready. OK, probably have to wait on the winger, but I just can't get past how good we would be if we got him.

Again, great signing.

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Physicality and yadda, yadda, yadda. Even if he does rack up 200 hits for the remainder of his contract, it's not worth 4.4 million. He'd have to improve on last year to earn that amount, which very well may happen, though I'd be willing to bet it'd have more to do with a Staal improvement than a Ruutu one.

I'm not talking about how many hits the guy makes. Its pretty clear that JR considers the guy part of the core going forward now.

In fact after we were eliminated by Pittsburgh, this was JR's words: "If Ruutu was healthy, this series could have gone a different way."

JR places a lot of VALUE on Ruutu and what he BRINGS to the team. What he brings to the team is more than goals. People get too caught up in stats. If a GM says publically that if X player was healthy a playoff series could have gone a different way, you aren't getting that player signed on the cheap.

Before his signing people were looking at the $3.5M per range for him. Its really not that far off. He didn't take much of a raise on that first year and you also have to factor in that you are buying 2 years of free agency. If he puts up similar numbers like he did last year, some team would easily sign him for $5M and that's what JR would have to compete with.

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In fact after we were eliminated by Pittsburgh, this was JR's words: "If Ruutu was healthy, this series could have gone a different way."

JR places a lot of VALUE on Ruutu and what he BRINGS to the team. What he brings to the team is more than goals. People get too caught up in stats. If a GM says publically that if X player was healthy a playoff series could have gone a different way, you aren't getting that player signed on the cheap.

You got a link to that? I find it really hard to believe he would single out a player like that.

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You got a link to that? I find it really hard to believe he would single out a player like that.

I read it in the N&O and was on more than one CanesVision interview with JR though I do think he included Cole in that sentence but I could be wrong.

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I read it in the N&O and was on more than one CanesVision interview with JR though I do think he included Cole in that sentence but I could be wrong.

Interesting. I really don't think the health of our players effected that series (unless Ward did have that possible back injury). It was more of "We just played two 7 game series, and our players weren't prepared for that".

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You got a link to that? I find it really hard to believe he would single out a player like that.

yea i also cant see jr saying that. i do feel like ruutu is worth this money. id take him iver gionta or antropov and both got more money.

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Interesting. I really don't think the health of our players effected that series (unless Ward did have that possible back injury). It was more of "We just played two 7 game series, and our players weren't prepared for that".

Pittsburgh played a 7 and a 6 game series and fought hard at the end of the regular season as well. I agree we seemed to hit the wall, but that wall was Pittsburgh. Now, if Ward were really playing hurt, with our backup seeing about as much time in net as me, and thus really not usable, that may have factored in, but the 2 seven game series argument would be more believable if Pittsburgh had coasted into the series. They just had more talent. Hence our need for a first line winger.

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Pittsburgh played a 7 and a 6 game series and fought hard at the end of the regular season as well. I agree we seemed to hit the wall, but that wall was Pittsburgh. Now, if Ward were really playing hurt, with our backup seeing about as much time in net as me, and thus really not usable, that may have factored in, but the 2 seven game series argument would be more believable if Pittsburgh had coasted into the series. They just had more talent. Hence our need for a first line winger.

But Pittsburgh was also more prepared for those multiple 7 game series, because they had made it to the Finals the previous year. A good majority of their players had experienced the strain multiple series take the previous year. The majority of our players hadn't made it to the playoffs in years, and for some, it was their first playoff experience.

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Pittsburgh played a 7 and a 6 game series and fought hard at the end of the regular season as well. I agree we seemed to hit the wall, but that wall was Pittsburgh. Now, if Ward were really playing hurt, with our backup seeing about as much time in net as me, and thus really not usable, that may have factored in, but the 2 seven game series argument would be more believable if Pittsburgh had coasted into the series. They just had more talent. Hence our need for a first line winger.

One thing about adding that winger is that is strengthens all the lines since you shuffle guys down the lines where they aren't playing against the other teams' shutdown guys.

I go back to the statement I made several days ago that this season the Canes really overachieved and ran out of gas. If everybody on the team was healthy, I still think we lose the series unless Cam is darn near perfect. Ask yourself; if you matched up every line and every pairing of the Pens and Canes, how many of those do we come out as having the better personell (Pens 1st line vs. Canes 1st line, Pens top d-pair against our, and so forth). The Pens had us beat in most of those comparisons. The only ones I think we would truly be better would be the fourth line and in goal, but then Cam was supposedly hurt. Now take those comparisons and add a true 1st line winger and shift guys down. Is the outcome the same?

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Interesting. I really don't think the health of our players effected that series (unless Ward did have that possible back injury). It was more of "We just played two 7 game series, and our players weren't prepared for that".

I do remember him using names.

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One thing about adding that winger is that is strengthens all the lines since you shuffle guys down the lines where they aren't playing against the other teams' shutdown guys.

I go back to the statement I made several days ago that this season the Canes really overachieved and ran out of gas. If everybody on the team was healthy, I still think we lose the series unless Cam is darn near perfect. Ask yourself; if you matched up every line and every pairing of the Pens and Canes, how many of those do we come out as having the better personell (Pens 1st line vs. Canes 1st line, Pens top d-pair against our, and so forth). The Pens had us beat in most of those comparisons. The only ones I think we would truly be better would be the fourth line and in goal, but then Cam was supposedly hurt. Now take those comparisons and add a true 1st line winger and shift guys down. Is the outcome the same?

Exactly!!! Look at the final 4 teams from the playoffs: Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Carolina. (music starts) "Which one of these is not like the others? Which one of these just doesn't belong? Can you tell me which team is not like the others, before I finish this song?" Again, we hit a wall named Pittsburgh. We scrapped out two amazing series wins against two arguably better teams, but finally hit the elite team, or they hit us. It would have been the same had we made it to Detroit.

You can add a handful of other elite teams (including our cup team). And we just don't measure up to that elite level. Admittedly the bar is high, but isn't that the idea? Again, our cup team had Stillman at 76 points, Williams with 33 goals, Brindy at Selke/All Star peak form, and either pre-injury Cole or Doug Weight, not to mention Recci.

Sure this team played great at the end of the year and all things considered had a magical run from March on, but that's the point. It took a magical run. Just one more top line winger though and we are right there. We already have amazing depth at forward, good back line scoring and a great goalie. Just need to convert a little of that forward depth to top line talent somehow, and we are at least a near-elite if not actually elite team.

Now I really don't think we will. But I think we should.

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You got a link to that? I find it really hard to believe he would single out a player like that.

Feel free to hunt around for one. It was during one of JRs interviews after the ECF. I too was a bit surprised that he said that, but that's why it stuck with me.

He was talking about missing Ruutu's physical aspect of the game in that series.

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Feel free to hunt around for one. It was during one of JRs interviews after the ECF. I too was a bit surprised that he said that, but that's why it stuck with me.

He was talking about missing Ruutu's physical aspect of the game in that series.

I remember the same thing. Something about losing two of the team's top physical players in the 1st game (to what he felt were dirty hits-and I m pretty sure he used the word dirty) which deflated the team's game....or something like that.

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Ruutu rules, so much heart, power and goal scoring skill. He's so young. He could end up being a franchise player. this is a big contract, Ruutu has a big role to fill now, he's not just a maybe anymore, he's got to be a top 4 scorer and hitter. Ruutu Rules!

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Not to try to compare Ruutu to any of these players, but for those that think we paid too much, here's a few of the ridiculous contracts from around the league.

Atl - Ilya Kovulchuk - 7.5 million a year.

Bos- Zdeno Chara - 7.5 million a year

Buf - Thomas Vanek - 10 million (07/08), 8 million (08/09), 6.4 million/per for 5 years average 7.1 million a year

Chi - Marian Hossa - 7.9 million a year (for 7 years then lower for the last 5 years of the 12 year deal) <-- Yikes, and he might not even play for a couple months

Det - Henrick Zetterberg - Avg 6.0 million (for 12 years)

Det - Pavel Datsyuk - 5 more years left of a 6.7 million a year, 7 year deal.

NYI - Rick Dipietro - Only 4.5 million a year, but signed from now until doomsday (and will he play?)

Phi - Mike Richards - 11 years left on a 5.75/year 12 year deal

Pit - Crosby and Malkin both at 8.7 million a year, goes without saying...

TBL - Vincent Lecavalier - 10 million a year for the next 7 years, then 8, 4, 1.5, 1 for an average of 7.1 million for 11 years.

Was- Alex Ovechkin - Another guy who goes without saying, but still 9,9,9,9,9,9 then 10,10,10,10,10,10,10 for his 13 year deal that started in 08/09. Thats 124 million total.

Yes, these guys are better then Ruutu and thats why they make the big bucks, but just an example of the huge chunks of Cap these guys take up.. Would you rather have 1 or 2 superstars (Like Pittsburgh or Washington) or a team full of blue collar guys like the Canes.. I'd take the latter.

And to be fair, in a couple years Staal will start raking in 9 million a year, but we still payout less then a lot of these teams and make it work.

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I don't see where you're going with that. You'd be better off comparing those contracts to Staal than to Ruutu. At least that way, the talent level is closer. Ruutu's nowhere near the level of any of those players.

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I don't see where you're going with that. You'd be better off comparing those contracts to Staal than to Ruutu. At least that way, the talent level is closer. Ruutu's nowhere near the level of any of those players.

The point is we don't have anyone on our roster making anywhere close to 10 million a year, which is something in the neighborhood of 20% of your cap for ONE player.

I said TWICE that I wasn't comparing skill levels.. just showing a few high dollar contracts and people we KNOW are overpaid.

Ottawa has 3 or 4 players in the 5 million a year range (Spezza, Heatley and a few others) and the rest of the roster full of lower end guys making 0.5 million. Our roster is more balanced with 5 or 6 guys in the 3 million range, 6 or 7 guys in the 1 million range, and just one or two players in the 4-5 million range (Pitkanen, Staal). I think that kind of roster is better for us, rather then Washington with OV making 10 million surrounded by a bunch of AHLer's to make up for his money.

I don't feel that we overpaid at all for Ruutu.. and it's kinda silly for us fans to quabble over 200k out of a 50 million dollar budget.. (ooo he got 3.5, but he's only worth 3.2.. whats the difference?!?!?!)... Plus the fact that we are still 7 million dollars or more UNDER the Cap, with a very dangerous team coming into shape, I'd say we've done very well this offseason without going nuts like on a Hossa, or DiPetro who will be getting paid umpteen millions of dollars to sit in a doctors office.

If we had paid money like that to Ruutu, then it would have been a gross overpayment but we didnt... We wanted him for 3.5, got him for 3.8... No big deal.. he wasn't asking for 7 million a year.

*Also.. most of the guys I listed were in the top 3 of their team's scoring with 70-90 points. Ruutu while much lower at 54 points, was third on our team behind Staal and Whitney. Despite the lower scoring, we won plenty enough games to make it to the ECF. He was due for a raise and only got a very small one.

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The problem is, most of those players AREN'T overpayed. They're being payed the amount that they're worth, with maybe the exception of DiPietro, who's worth that much when healthy. He's just never been healthy.

And while the contacts do limit the amount you can pay to the rest of your team, it's not nearly as bad as you're making it sound. Washington was able to pay Ovechkin and still pay Semin and Backstrom and Fedorov and everyone else they had when they ran away with the division.

If you pay by the icetime, then it doesn't matter if you're only paying a small amount for players that get a little amount of icetime. As long as the one you're paying a large amount to is earning that large amount, the rest of your team is simply stalling until that large amount player gets back on the ice.

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I'm not talking about how many hits the guy makes. Its pretty clear that JR considers the guy part of the core going forward now.

In fact after we were eliminated by Pittsburgh, this was JR's words: "If Ruutu was healthy, this series could have gone a different way."

You got a link to that? I find it really hard to believe he would single out a player like that.

Because I'm particularly anal about this kind of stuff I went back to search for this, and here are the exact words. It's from an interview JR did with 99.9 The Fan on May 27th so kind of fresh off the ECF loss.

http://www.wralsportsfan.com/hurricanes/audio/5225872

It's early in the interview, around the 1:35 mark. Context is he was asked about whether or not the pieces were in place to continue to contend. Tuomo is singled out as to his absence being a factor in the Pittsburgh series but perhaps not *quite* as boldly as previously described, and yes, the mental factor is also mentioned here. I'm transcribing so I apologize if I missed anything that differs from the audio link.

"I do think that the team we had in those first two series was a pretty good team and should be able to compete for a few more years. And we got into the Pittsburgh series, and I give all the credit to Pittsburgh, they have a very good team and they played extremely well and they deserved to beat us. But at the same time when you take Ruutu out of our lineup, that's a big piece, and then we had a few other guys banged up and quite frankly we were mentally drained and so that's why we ended up losing."

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Ah, that makes much more sense then. After all the *edit* we gave Buffalo fans for their complaints about injuries in 06, I wouldn't want those same kind of excuses to be used here. Mentally drained or mentally unprepared is a much better reasoning.

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Big difference between mentally drained and mentally unprepared. And I dont think people are using it as an excuse, just part of the facts of what did end up draining the team in the end.

I guess what I was remembering were the comments made right after the 1st game when the league was still deciding to take any action for either hit. Only reason I remember it was because I thought it was a pretty bold accusation by JR, maybe to sway the league in their decision.

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You got a link to that? I find it really hard to believe he would single out a player like that.

Maybe he's using the same source you used to get Babchuk's contract asking price. :lol:

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I don't feel that we overpaid at all for Ruutu.. and it's kinda silly for us fans to quabble over 200k out of a 50 million dollar budget.. (ooo he got 3.5, but he's only worth 3.2.. whats the difference?!?!?!)... Plus the fact that we are still 7 million dollars or more UNDER the Cap, with a very dangerous team coming into shape, I'd say we've done very well this offseason without going nuts like on a Hossa, or DiPetro who will be getting paid umpteen millions of dollars to sit in a doctors office.

We're actually 3 million under the cap if you factor in all of our 1-way contracts and Kaberle being bought out. That's only 20 players mind you, so I don't think we have as much money as people think we do. I will agree with you that Ruutu wasn't overpaid, as long as he stays healthy (which can be tough given his style of play) and continues to put up good numbers.

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Big difference between mentally drained and mentally unprepared. And I dont think people are using it as an excuse, just part of the facts of what did end up draining the team in the end.

I guess what I was remembering were the comments made right after the 1st game when the league was still deciding to take any action for either hit. Only reason I remember it was because I thought it was a pretty bold accusation by JR, maybe to sway the league in their decision.

But if you're drained by that point in the playoffs, would that not mean you were unprepared for the grinding style the playoffs require? I suppose since they did spend a good portion of the second half of the season playing that playoff-style hockey, it's understandable, but that just means they were unprepared to play early in the year and put themselves in that position where that style of play was required to even make the playoffs.

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