The Carolina Hurricanes, while playing much better of late, are still looking to rebuild. Every player without a contract next year is a strong candidate to be moved before the trade deadline, but we have not talked much about players who are under contract, who also might be moved.
The primary player of interest? According to Pierre LaBrun of ESPN, it's Joni Pitkanen. Apparently, Jim Rutherford's phone is ringing off the hook with inquiries about the defenseman.
The offensive minded blueliner, who has already been selected for Team Finland, can move the puck, create scoring chances, and usually plays a pretty solid defense in his own end. He can be physical at times and he leads the entire NHL in average ice time.
It's hard to imagine how this team would have performed without him this season, but still, all of these factors make him a highly sought after player throughout the league.
The Hurricanes are not actively looking to trade him, but.... if the right deal came along, should they?
The bigwigs in Carolina have admitted that they are officially in "rebuild" mode. If so, then in my opinion they should trade the Finnish superstar, if they got a proper return.
For instance, what if Boston was willing to trade Toronto's first round draft pick for the rights to Pitkanen? You probably would be talking about receiving one of the top picks in this summer's draft and an impact player. Would you make the deal?