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Jarkko Ruutu happy to land in a playoff race

February 17, 2011 |  4:28 pm

Left wing Jarkko Ruutu, acquired by the Ducks from Ottawa for a sixth-round pick in the June entry draft, said being traded is “always a little bit of a surprise,” but said the prospect of playing for a playoff team is intriguing.

“I’m excited to go to Anaheim,” he said during a conference call with reporters Thursday.

Ruutu, a pesky player who had two goals, 10 points, 59 penalty minutes and a -2 defensive rating in 50 games this season, won’t be immediately available to the Ducks because he must clear up some visa issues. However, as he noted, being near the embassies in Ottawa — Canada’s capital — is likely to hasten the process.

“I’m ready to jump in anytime,” he said.

The Ducks next play Friday at Minnesota and Saturday at St. Louis.

The out-of-contention Senators have made several moves lately, including trading Mike Fisher and Chris Kelly. “It’s pretty natural on Ottawa’s behalf,” Ruutu said. “They’re going young and they have to make changes.”

Being in the playoffs, he said, “is what it’s all about. When you’re out of the playoffs you’re not playing for anything.... To get traded to this team is really exciting for me.”

He also said he’s well acquainted with the Ducks’ Finnish contingent — Saku Koivu, Teemu Selanne and Toni Lydman — from past national teams and summer workouts. He said he and Lydman played for IFK Helsinki too.

Helene Elliott