Tuomo Ruutu (hip) practiced with his Carolina teammates for the first time Thursday.
"It's still early. I've just got to get some practice and see how I feel," he said. "I go day-by-day, week-by-week and see where I'm at. Everything's has gone pretty well so far, so hopefully it keeps going that way." The next hurdle he faces is getting cleared for contact. There's no timetable for his return, but he might be able to return before the end of the regular season which wasn't viewed as a possibility before. He had hip surgery back in mid-December.