Both teams accomplished their goals on Wednesday, less than an hour before the trade deadline, when the Hurricanes sent forward Tuomo Ruutu to the Devils in exchange for Andrei Loktionov and a conditional 2017 third-round draft pick.
Ruutu still has two years remaining on his contract that carries a cap hit of more than $4.7 million per season, which is a pretty big hit for a player that is now on the wrong side of 30, has had some injury problems, and has seen his offensive production drop. In 57 games with the Hurricanes this season he has just five goals and 11 assists.
Add that contract into some of the deals the Devils currently have on the books and they have a pretty significant portion of their cap tied into some aging, declining players (Ruutu, Ryane Clowe, Michael Ryder, Dainius Zubrus).
Loktionov has four goals and eight assists this season.
"Andrei is a young, skilled forward who will play on our power play," Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said in a team statement. "Tuomo was a good player for the Hurricanes and we thank him for his contributions to our organization over the past seven years."
New Jersey is just two points out of the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, while Carolina is six points back.