(May 11, 2000) – Jim Rutherford, CEO and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, today announced the team has agreed to terms on a multi-year contract with forward Tommy Westlund. As per club policy, no terms were released.
“We are pleased to have agreed to a multi-year contract with Tommy,” stated Rutherford. “He proved this season he can play at the NHL level in his role as a defensive forward for our hockey team. He is one of our younger players that we expect to be able to step up and play a significant role for our team in years to come.”
Westlund, 25, played the majority of the season at right wing, but also played some games at center in his first NHL season. Originally drafted by the Hurricanes in the fourth round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Westlund tied for the team lead in games played with 81. He scored four goals and eight assists for a total of 12 points and had 19 penalty minutes. He played his first NHL game this season when the Hurricanes opened the season at Boston on October 2, 1999. He scored his first NHL point with an assist against the New York Rangers on October 8, 1999. Westlund notched his first NHL goal at Detroit on November 5, 1999.
Westlund played the 1998-99 season with the Hurricanes’ top affiliate, the Beast of New Haven where he scored eight goals and 18 assists for a total of 26 points in 50 games. It was his first professional season in North America after playing three seasons for Brynas Gayle in the Swedish League.
The Carolina Hurricanes concluded the team’s first season in Raleigh, its third in North Carolina, and its 21st in the NHL with a record of 37-35-10 and a total of 84 points. Carolina finished just one point shy of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Carolina, which captured the Southeast Division title last season with a 34-30-18 record, posted back-to-back plus-.500 seasons for the first time in 11 seasons dating back to the 1985-86 and 1986-87 seasons. The Hurricanes’ 84 points this season ranks fourth best all-time for points in a season. The franchise mark is 93 points set in 1986-87.