Always nice to have a night to sleep on this stuff.
Re: Ruutu, in some ways it's like the Devils got him for nothing. Loktionov wasn't going to be here after this year anyway. Maybe he turns into something for someone else, but the guess here is he'll continue to show why he was taken in the 5th round, if he's even in the NHL next season. The fact is that if you really show something and force yourself to be noticed, teams will find a way to get you in the lineup, or at the very least, in more significant roles. He opened some eyes with that 7 goal, 4 assist burst in his first 18 GP as a Devil, but he hadn't done much since (13 points in his last 58 GP). Maybe the simple fact is the reason Loki never really made a name for himself here or in LA is that he's simply not very good and hasn't really progressed much. As for a conditional 2017 3rd-rounder, I can't worry about a mid-round pick that's several seasons away. I'm guessing the reason it's so far off is that it's contigent on Ruutu re-signing with the Devils? Anyway, the pick isn't really a big deal.
As for Ruutu himself, he's not a sexy player and his salary is not great, but at least the 'Canes are on the hook for 20% of the cash he has coming to him. Hopefully his low shooting% is due for some positive regression. But I've moved from the "WTF?!" camp to the "OK, doesn't look great at first glance, but let's give it a chance" group. I like that he at least can get a practice or two in with his new teammates.
The fact that the defensive logjam hasn't been alleviated is frustrating. At first, I was surprised that Lou couldn't get Carolina to take a bad contract back, but Carolina was clearly looking to shed salary and not do a wash, so I guess it's safe to say Carolina wasn't taking salary back. I'm guessing unless Loki shows them a hell of a lot, they'll just let him walk. I don't think the 'Canes cared much about what they were getting back, I think they were just looking to get some coin off their cap for the offseason. Loki's #1 appeal to them was probably the fact that his contract was expiring and cheap to boot. I don't think they were trying to nab a prospect.
Re: Marty...the ball is really in his court now. No matter what happens between now and the end of the season, unless he rips the Devils organization or the fans, I think whatever bad feelings some Devils fans are currently having towards him will subside...if Devils fans can get past Scott Niedermayer leaving their team to go win a Cup with someone else, they can get past anything. For all the "Greedermayer", "Needmybrother", and "Mamma's Boy" hatred that came his way just after and during his Ducks career, people got over it, and were willing to celebrate his number retirement without issue...most truly embraced the event, and him as a result. All Marty really has to do is the following and he'll be fine:
1) Act like you're 100% happy to still be a Devil, even if you're not. Say some things to that effect.
2) No talk about playing time (or lack thereof) or playing next season. No one wants to hear that from a declining .899 save% 41-year-old, especially when the other guy is clearly much better. The less you say about this, the less guys like PDB and Lou and teammates and others have to look bad saying things and singing praises that just about every Devils fan knows are horsesh!t. If fans know you're not terribly good anymore, you can bet that everyone else does too, even if they don't dare say it.
3) For the remaining 19 games of this season, be a good soldier. You WILL get some games, probably more than you deserve. You won't be put out to pasture. Make the most of them.
4) Please retire at the end of this year. Don't Messier your way into making the Devils keep you around for one last season when every last sign points to you being finished. Don't make the NHL force you to retire. Do it on your terms, as a Devil, end of this season, gracefully.