SHARE
Stanley Cup Final

Pitkanen, Dwyer avoid free agency, agree to multi-year deals with Hurricanes

Tuesday, 06.28.2011 / 7:08 PM / News

The Canadian Press

RALEIGH, N.C. - The Carolina Hurricanes re-signed defenceman Joni Pitkanen and forward Patrick Dwyer to multi-year contracts Tuesday.

The Hurricanes announced the deals three days before the players could have become unrestricted free agents.

Pitkanen agreed to a three-year contract that will pay him US$4.5 million per season, the Hurricanes said. Dwyer received a two-year deal and will make $600,000 this season and $650,000 in 2012-13.

Pitkanen, 27, led Carolina defencemen last season with 30 assists. He made $4.5 million last season and remains the team's highest-paid defenceman. The Hurricanes earned points in the standings in 26 of the 30 games in which he had either a goal or an assist.

"Joni has been a very important part of our defence as he plays in all situations," general manager Jim Rutherford said. "He plays a lot of minutes, and is one of the top puck movers in the league. We are very pleased that he wanted to return to the Hurricanes."

Dwyer, 28, made $500,000 last season and had career highs of eight goals, 10 assists and 80 games played.

"Patrick has become a durable and reliable NHL forward," Rutherford said. "He is a very strong penalty killer, and he brings a lot of speed and energy to our group of forwards."

Quote of the Day

For our team, as a group, we've never been this far before, and so it's just more lessons learned, and sometimes you have to go to the school of hard knocks to find out what works and what doesn't. We've got a young group. They've played some unreal hockey here to get us this far, and we showed if we're not going to play the proper way, a really, really good hockey team is going to beat you, and that's what they did. It's a lesson learned.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper after Rangers win in Game 6 forced a Game 7 that will be played at Madison Square Garden on Friday