RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, announced today that the Hurricanes have agreed to terms with defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky (OH-lehg tvehr-DOHV-skee) on a three-year contract. As per club policy, further terms of the deal were not released.
“Oleg is a highly-skilled defenseman who entered the NHL at a very young age and is just reaching his prime,” said Rutherford. “His speed and ability to run a power play will put him in an important role for our defense. Oleg has played well over the last two seasons in Russia and is excited to return to North America.”
Tverdovsky, 29, spent the last two seasons playing for Avangard Omsk of the Russian Hockey League, totaling 21 goals and 32 assists (53 points) and 123 penalty minutes in 105 games. Prior to that, Tverdovsky had played in nine NHL seasons for Anaheim, Winnipeg, Phoenix and New Jersey, tallying 290 points (74g, 216a) and 244 penalty minutes in 615 career games. Selected in the first round, second overall, of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft by Anaheim, Tverdovsky made his NHL debut at 18 for the Mighty Ducks, notching 12 points (3g, 9a) in 36 games during his lockout-shortened rookie season. Two years later, in the midst of 55-point breakout season for Phoenix, the Donetsk, Russia, native played in the 1997 NHL All-Star Game. Tverdovsky set career-highs that season in both assists (45) and points (55).
Tvedovsky (6'1", 215 lbs.) has reached the 50-point plateau three times in his NHL career, including two of his last three NHL seasons. He established a career-high with 15 goals in the 1999-2000 season with the Mighty Ducks, and set another career-high the following season with eight power-play goals. He also established a Mighty Ducks franchise record with 363 consecutive games played. Tvedovsky represented his home nation of Russia in the World Cup of Hockey in 1996 and 2004 as well as the 2002 Olympic Games. He also participated in the 1994 World Junior Championships and 1993 and 1994 European Junior Championships.