RALEIGH, NC—Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with forward Tuomo Ruutu (TOO-oh-moh ROO-too) on a three-year contract. Under the terms of the deal, Ruutu will be paid $3 million in 2009-10, $4 million in 2010-11 and $4.4 million in 2011-12.
“We are very happy to have Tuomo under contract on a long-term deal and to avoid arbitration,”
said Rutherford. “He is still quite young at 26, and is one of the cornerstones of our team moving forward.”
Ruutu, 26, established career highs in goals (26), assists (28) and points (54) during the 2008-09 regular season. Originally acquired by Carolina on Feb. 26, 2008, the Vantaa, Finland, native ranked second among Hurricanes in goals and third in points last season. He led the team in hits (228), ranking 10th in the NHL in that category. Ruutu (6’0”, 200 lbs.) was three-for-six (50%) with one game-winning goal in the shootout, and was selected by the Carolina media as the winner of the 2008-09 “Good Guy Award,” given for cooperation with the local media. Ruutu made his first career Stanley Cup playoffs appearance during the Hurricanes’ run to the Eastern Conference Finals, scoring one goal and adding three assists (4 points) in 18 postseason contests.
Drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round, ninth overall, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Ruutu has totaled 78 goals, 95 assists (173 points) and 354 penalty minutes in 324 career NHL games with Chicago and Carolina. He has represented his native Finland in eight major international tournaments, including the 2004 World Cup of Hockey and the 2006, 2007 and 2008 IIHF World Championships.