Hurricanes look to sign Ruutu to new deal ahead of deadline Staff

2/9/2012 4:18:54 PM

When it comes to his immediate hockey future, the ball appears to be in Tuomo Ruutu's court.

According TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun, Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford will try to re-sign the pending free agent forward.

"So our priority now is to try and re-sign him," Rutherford told LeBrun on

If the two sides can't reach an agreement on a contract by the end of next week, it's Rutherford will likely move the forward before the NHL trade deadline.

The two sides had contract discussions earlier in the week.

TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie reported earlier in the week that Rutherford's price for Ruutu has been steep - a significant draft pick and a solid prospect or a top prospect alone.

Last month, the Hurricanes locked up defenceman Tim Gleason to a four-year deal.  Gleason was in the same contractual situation as Ruutu, but elected to stay.

In 55 games this season, Ruutu has 17 goals and 11 assists.