Canes forward Tuomo Ruutu is expected to be sidelined three weeks with an upper-body injury, general manager Jim Rutherford said today.
Ruutu was injured Monday early in the Canes' 5-3 win in Montreal over the Canadiens and did not return to the game. Ruutu underwent an MRI today.
Rutherford said Ruutu's injury would not affect or put on hold the ongoing negotiations on a contract extension or reaching a decision on his future with the team.
"It will have no impact," Rutherford said. "The fact that we'd like him to stay and like to re-sign him has not changed in any way."
How it might affect teams interested in trading for Ruutu is another matter. Due to become an unrestricted free agent after the season, Ruutu has been the subject of much trade speculation as the NHL trade deadline approaches.
Ruutu leads the Canes with 17 goals and is tied for second in points with 30.