Jamie McBain? Still a Cane.
Jussi Jokinen? Rejoining old friend Brandon Sutter in Pittsburgh.
Jim Rutherford? Visibly frustrated and disappointed.
As the 3:00 trade deadline came and went, the Carolina Hurricanes mostly stood pat on Wednesday, with their only move coming two hours before the deadline when they shipped Jussi Jokinen to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
And that was it. No big deal, like the ones that saw Marian Gaborik and Jason Pominville find new homes. No small deals, even for minor league depth. One deal, and the Canes were done for the day.
Shortly after the deadline passed, Rutherford met the media at PNC Arena, visibly frustrated by the shortcomings of the team he assembled. "I believed we had a good product," he said. "As we speak today, we don't."
The Canes' recent seven-game slide, coupled with two straight losses to the Canadiens and Capitals, put Rutherford in a tough spot. "I wasn't going to trade younger players or high picks for someone who may or may not make a difference in the last month," Rutherford told the media. "I don't think there were as many players available that could make a difference and make an impact in what we're trying to do."
With deals being consummated in the final hour before the deadline for goalies Ben Bishop and Steve Mason, Rutherford said that the Canes were not in discussions for acquiring a goaltender, despite the fact that the Canes had been sinking under the weight of losing Cam Ward and Justin Faulk for lengthy stretches. "I don't know many teams that could play well losing a #1 goalie the way we did."
Rutherford also acknowledged the public-relations disaster that this season has become, on the heels of announced price increases for tickets next season. "In a year we decided to raise ticket prices, [the losing streak] doesn't sit well with the paying customer," he said. "The timing couldn't have been worse."
Speaking specifically of the Jokinen deal, Rutherford said that it was less about Jokinen as a player and more about the team and its financial situation going forward, an indirect reference to the Alexander Semin contract extension that kicks in next season. He declined to detail how much of Jokinen's salary was retained by the Hurricanes and how much the Penguins will be on the hook for, and said that the draft pick compensation will be determined by how deep the Penguins advance in the playoffs.
As for Joni Pitkanen's injury, Rutherford stated again, as he has in the past, that he is in favor of changing the rule to prevent injuries like Pitkanen's. Rutherford frustratingly said "I guess we'll need a couple more injuries like Joni's to effect change."
Almost as an aside at the beginning of the press conference, Rutherford announced that the team had signed 2012 2nd round pick Brock McGinn, who will report to the Charlotte Checkers. But that bit of good news was overshadowed by a realization that the Canes will likely miss the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season, and Rutherford's admission that his hands were tied on deadline day.
"It's about as tough a position as you can be in," he said.
The team's release regarding McGinn's signing is below.
Also, Brett Bellemore was reasigned to Charlotte this afternoon. The release for that is following the McGinn release.
HURRICANES AGREE TO TERMS WITH BROCK McGINN
2012 draft pick netted 28 goals for Guelph in 2012-13
RALEIGH, NC – Jason Karmanos, Executive Vice President and Assistant General Manager for the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with left wing Brock McGinn on a three-year, entry-level contract. At the NHL Level, McGinn will receive $700,000 in 2013-14, $750,000 in 2014-15 and $800,000 in 2015-16. At the AHL level, he would be paid $70,000 in all three years. McGinn receives a signing bonus of $277,500, and will immediately join the Hurricanes’ top minor-league affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL).
“Brock is a gritty, skilled forward who skates well and hits everything,” said Karmanos.
McGinn, 19, scored 28 goals and had 26 assists (54 points) in 68 games this season with the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). The Fergus, Ont., native ranked second among Storm skaters in goals and fourth in points, registering a plus-7 plus/minus rating during his third OHL season. McGinn (5’11”, 186 lbs.) tallied four points (2g, 2a) in three playoff games for Guelph, as the Storm was eliminated in the opening round by the Kitchener Rangers.
Selected by the Hurricanes in the second round, 47th overall, of the 2012 NHL Draft, McGinn has totaled 50 goals and 37 assists (87 points) and 134 penalty minutes in 169 career OHL games withGuelph, which is coached by former Hurricanes forward Scott Walker. McGinn is the younger brother of Colorado Avalanche forward Jamie McGinn, and Philadelphia Flyers forward Tye McGinn.
CANES REASSIGN BRETT BELLEMORE TO CHARLOTTE
Defensemen played in six games with Carolina during first NHL stint
RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has reassigned defenseman Brett Bellemore (BREHT BEHL-mohr) to the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL).
Bellemore, 24, played in six games with Carolina during his first career NHL recall, and earned his first NHL point with an assist in the Hurricanes’ game on Monday at Montreal. Prior to his March 20 recall, the Windsor, Ont., native had scored two goals and earned 11 assists (13 points) in 62 games with Charlotte, and he still leads Checkers defensemen in plus/minus (+12) and penalty minutes (85). Bellemore (6’4”, 210 lbs.) has scored six goals, earned 34 assists (40 points) and accumulated 310 penalty minutes in 294 career AHL regular-season games with Carolina’s affiliates in Albany and Charlotte. The Hurricanes drafted Bellemore in the sixth round, 162nd overall, in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.