Carolina Hurricanes At The 2011 NHL Trade Deadline: Rumors, Needs And Expectations

GM Jim Rutherford already dipped his toe in the trade waters by sending defenseman Ian White — who had been acquired earlier in the season from Calgary — to San Jose for, basically, young defenseman Derek Joslin and a second round pick in 2012. That leaves the Hurricanes with some money to use, if they so choose.

Status: On The Bubble

Players On The Block: Joni Pitkanen ($4 million), Sergei Samsonov ($2.53 million)

Needs: Rutherford doesn't want to mortgage his future in a season when he's unsure of how far his team can go. That being said, the Hurricanes are currently in a playoff position and the team has a knack for making postseason runs. With White gone, the Hurricanes have unproven Joslin and Brett Carson battling for the sixth spot. They could upgrade there, and may even look to add a pass-first winger to play with Eric Staal down the stretch.

Prediction: Rutherford has several expiring contracts — most notably Pitkanen, Erik Cole, Jussi Jokinen and Samsonov — but won't be an all-out seller. Rutherford could swing a deal like he did three seasons ago when he made a two-for-two deal with fellow playoff contender Ottawa that saw Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore shipped to the Senators for Joe Corvo and Patrick Eaves.

But Rutherford will probably look to add a complementary player that wouldn't cost him much to land. He could try and re-acquire Stillman as the playmaking winger the team is lacking, or maybe add a physical defender to bolster the blue line.

For more on the Hurricanes, visit Canes Country. This post was written by Cory Lavalette.

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