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February 14, 2012 | 10:09am ET
Ruutu's injury could hurt the market

Hurricanes forward Tuomo Ruutu, one of the top potentially available players at the trade deadline, left in the first period of Monday's 5-3 victory over Montreal with an upper-body injury.

According to Raleigh News & Observer, Ruutu took what looked to be a rather harmless hit from Habs center Tomas Plekanec, headed to the bench and was done for the night with only one minute and 45 seconds of ice time.

"He's been playing good hockey and he's a guy that we need," Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller mentioned, while adding that he was unsure of the severity of the injury.

The 28-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1, though Canes GM Jim Rutherford is exploring the possibility of signing him to an extension prior to the Feb. 27 trade deadline.

A resolution on whether Ruutu gets signed to a new deal or is moved prior to the deadline was expected to be finalized later this week, but the injury could put a hold on negotiations.

In 57 games with the Hurricanes this season, Ruutu has posted 17 goals and 13 assists for 30 points.

More Trade Deadline Info 
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No-Trade/No-Movement Clauses | Top 25 Available Players | Team-by-Team Cap Info

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