Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Murray Adds 2nd Most Hated Player In The NHL - Jarkko Ruutu

Now all Ottawa GM Bryan Murray needs to do is sign Georges Laraque to finish off the fights that Jarkko Ruutu inevitably starts.

This is a great signing by Ottawa because Ruutu is almost as hated as Sean Avery but without the off-ice distraction. I've always been a fan of Ruutu's game and players like him are extroardinarly rare. Avery, Steve Ott, Mathew Barnaby, Esa Tikkanen, Ken Linseman ... Ruutu is right up there with those guys and has a shit-eating grin that is unparalleled in the NHL.

It seems that the top-6 forward and puck moving defenseman that Murray has been looking for are turning out to be too expensive in this inflated market. It should not reflect badly on Murray that he refuses to dish out ridiculous contracts when he already has an expensive core of players signed for years to come.

The one thing he can concentrate on is the cheaper role players such as Ruutu and Shean Donovan (who re-signed today as well) and try to fill his holes through trades during the season. Hopefully Murray considers going after a bonafide heavyweight such as Laraque, who can offer more than the recently departed Brian McGrattan.

Perhaps Murray can swing a deal with Anaheim to bring in a player like Mathieu Schneider who only has one year left on his current deal but can run a power-play in a similar way to Wade Redden. That type of deal could buy players like Brian Lee and Andre Meszaros time to further develop without bogging down the salary structure for years to come.

The fans won't be happy with these minor signings but a player like Ruutu will make his presence felt almost immediately and should be an integral player going forward.

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