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Hurricanes send Andrew Ladd to Chicago for Tuomo Ruutu

Hurricanes send Andrew Ladd to Chicago for Tuomo Ruutu

The Carolina Hurricanes acquired Finnish forward Tuomo Ruutu from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for left wing Andrew Ladd in a swap of former NHL first-round picks on Tuesday.
The deal, which came hours before the NHL's trading deadline, gives the injury-depleted Hurricanes some depth at center and on the wings as they push toward a playoff berth.
"The biggest thing is, Ruutu is more of a two-positional player," Carolina assistant general manager Ron Francis said. "With all of our injuries right now, it gives us a little bit more flexibility in case we need to move bodies around in the lineup."
Ruutu and Ladd have similar salaries _ Ruutu is making $1.88 million (euro1.3 million) this season, and Ladd is making $1.83 million (euro1.2 million) _ and both will be restricted free agents in the offseason, meaning they will return to their respective teams as long as the clubs match any offers they receive.
The 25-year-old Ruutu has six goals and 15 assists in 60 games with Chicago and is in his fourth NHL season after he was picked ninth overall by the Blackhawks in 2001. Listed as a center, he can play multiple positions on offense, which is why he was coveted by the Hurricanes.
"We certainly feel that he can step in and contribute in different areas, whether we want to use him at center, whether we want to use him on the wing, whether it's second line, third line, whatever," Francis said. "He can contribute to our hockey club immediately."
The 22-year-old Ladd was taken fourth overall by the Hurricanes in 2004, and was a key member of their second line along with Sergei Samsonov. He is having the best season of his three-year NHL career, with nine goals and nine assists in 43 games and registering 10 points in his last 11.