The abbreviated NHL season hasn’t ever begun the Carolina Hurricanes already suffered a major injury hit.
Gritty forward Tuomo Ruutu will be sidelined until the playoffs – or even next season – after undergoing hip surgery. The Raleigh News & Observer broke the bad news to Canes fans while leaders of the NHL and NHLPA worked to strike a new deal and end the lockout.
Ruutu agreed to a four-year, $19 million contract during the previous season and passed a physical when the campaign ended. All appeared well with him.
And then . . .
“In August he started complaining about it,” Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford told the newspaper. “He tried a number of things to rehab it but it got to the point the doctors recommended surgery.
“There was really nothing that signaled surgery might be necessary. It just flared up. Like most athletes, hockey players have a lot of wear and tear on their hips.”
Carolina counted on Ruutu to provide a physical presence and score some goals. He scored 18 times last season and added 16 assists. His 151 hits led the team.