Where's Tuomo Ruutu?
For much of the Hurricanes' training camp, that has been a big question among Canes fans. The answer: recovering from a groin pull, the forward said today.
But Ruutu was on the ice this morning for a workout, saying, "I felt pretty good." He will miss his sixth preseason game but appears close to being ready for Friday's season opener against Florida.
"It's been frustrating," he said. "I'd rather be out there than riding the bike."
But Ruutu knew he had to be careful with the injury. Try to push too hard, too soon, and it can worsen. The recovery time could be even longer.
"I never had a problem going out there too late but I have had problems going too early or working too hard when I'm not supposed to," Ruutu said."I didn't want to go out, tweak it again and go back to square one."
Ruutu played in 17 games with the Canes after coming to Carolina in a late-February trade with the Chicago Blackhawks, finishing with 11 points. With Justin William out with an Achilles tendon tear, Ruutu should be expected to shoulder a bigger load.
"I really feel bad for Justin and for the team. He's a great player," Ruutu said. "I have been injured before in seasons and I can only imagine how he feels.
"Obviously, we have to move on. Individually I'll try to do my best."