is expected to miss three weeks with an upper-body injury, an MRI revealed on Tuesday.
The Carolina Hurricanes’ 28-year-old forward was injured in the first period of Monday night’s game in Montreal. He logged just 1:45 of ice time and did not return.
Ruutu currently leads the team in goals with 17 and ranks tied for second in points with 30.
The pending-UFA forward’s name has been the hot topic of trade rumors as of late. While this injury should not impact the Hurricanes’ desires to sign Ruutu (his long-term value outweighs this short-term setback), it could impact his trade potential. Seen as a rental player for a playoff push, a three-week absence might scare off some clubs as the season approaches the final month of play. The trade deadline is Monday, Feb. 27 at 3 p.m.
In terms of immediate impact to the Hurricanes roster, the team is now down a forward. After swapping places on Sunday, forwards Jerome Samson
and Drayson Bowman
did so again today, with Bowman coming back to Raleigh. With the Canes next game slated for Friday, the team has time to decide how to fill the roster hole.
One option would be to dress seven defenseman, something head coach Kirk Muller has done already this season; Derek Joslin
has been sidelined as a healthy scratch since the return of Jaroslav Spacek
. The team is perhaps more likely to call up a forward from Charlotte, which would happen in the coming days.