This afternoon I gave a quick phone call to Bill Zito of Acme World Sports, who represents Tuomo Ruutu in his ongoing contract negotiations with the Hurricanes. Mr. Zito informed me that there was nothing new to report regarding the issue. While "things are fine", he indicated that there were "no updates". After the conversation, one could surmise that an agreement is not on the immediate horizon.
With the arbitration hearing scheduled for next week Thursday, July 30th, it would seem that the time for compromise is fast approaching.
I asked Ruutu's long time agent how he typically went about determining the value of a client during these types of contract disputes and he answered that of course he could not speak directly about any specific ongoing negotiation, but generally speaking there is no "cookie cutter" method to determine a player's value. Each player is different and it depends upon a wide variety of factors.
"A player's value could be based upon his statistics, his leadership, and his overall character. Sometimes it is even based upon a particular team's need for a certain type of player. For instance, a player who does not score often could have a higher value for one team than he does for another, simply because he fits well within that team's system. And if that team needs him in order to be successful, that could drive up his value."
Zito also stated that clubs look at players the same way. Budget concerns might be a factor, but that does not necessarily affect the monetary worth of a player.
While no one wants this to go to the arbitration hearing next week, it sure would be fascinating to sit in on that meeting. Canes Country will continue to follow any developments closely.