Looking a month into the past, it seemed as if the Carolina Hurricanes would be one of the most active teams at the 2012 NHL Trade Deadline. With four pending unrestricted free agents—Tim Gleason, Tuomo Ruutu, Bryan Allen and Jaroslav Spacek—and a low seed in the Eastern Conference standings, they were primed to be the center of attention leading up to February 27.
But 3 p.m. has come and gone, and the Canes didn't make a single move.
The dominos began to fall when Gleason and Ruutu each signed four-year extensions, removing Carolina's two best trade candidates from the market.
Then GM Jim Rutherford announced on deadline day that Allen, who has a no-trade clause on his contract, was not available. And finally, no legitimate offers were received for Spacek, leaving the Canes' roster fully in tact for the remainder of the season.
"For the most part, we felt we were going to keep most of the players we had. We really didn't talk about very many," Rutherford said. "Spacek was a guy teams called about. For the most part he was second or third on teams' list, and teams never got to that.
"We never got the point to getting an offer."
"(Allen) isn't different than other players," said the GM. "We have until July 1 before he gets to free agency. Based on what he does for our team, where he fits on our team, it makes more sense that we keep that right to negotiate that contract with him until July instead of taking that away and doing it just as any other team would as a free agent."
Rutherford also stated that he never asked Allen if he wanted to waive his NTC.
Looking beyond the deadline, it seems as if the Hurricanes are poised to become buyers heading into free agency.
"We've got some work to do here, and we certainly have to add another player or two for our team to get to where we need to get to to be a top-tier team going forward next year," he said. "But with that being said, we have taken some strides forward as a team in many areas...if we can add that player, we're getting real close to being a real good team again."
Andrew Hirsh is a contributor for Bleacher Report and a credentialed member of the Carolina Hurricanes media. All quotes were obtained first-hand unless noted otherwise. For updates on the Canes from the locker room and press box, follow him on Twitter: @andrewhirsh.