Forward agrees to one-year contract
—Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, announced today that the team has agreed to terms with forward Tuomo Ruutu
(TOO-oh-moh ROO-too) on a one-year contract. Ruutu will be paid $2.25 million during the 2008-09 season.
“We are happy he’ll be back with our team and we hope that he can stay healthy and return to the 20-goal plateau that he reached during his rookie season,” said Rutherford.
Acquired by Carolina from Chicago on Feb. 26 in exchange for Andrew Ladd, Ruutu finished the 2007-08 season with 10 goals, 22 assists (32 points) and 91 penalty minutes in 77 games played with the Blackhawks and Hurricanes. Ruutu, 25, was second among Hurricanes skaters in hits (171) and penalty minutes (91) and was tied for third among Hurricanes forwards in plus/minus (+4) for the season. A native of Vantaa, Finland, he represented his home nation at the 2008 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championships in Canada following the season, totaling four goals and two assists (6 points) in nine games as Finland captured the bronze medal.
Drafted with the ninth overall pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Ruutu (6’0’’, 200 lbs.) has scored 52 goals, earned 67 assists (119 points) and totaled 275 penalty minutes in 245 career NHL regular-season games with the Blackhawks and Hurricanes. He has represented Finland at eight major international tournaments, capturing five medals. He served as an alternate captain and led Team Finland in scoring at the 2000 IIHF Under-18 World Junior Championships in Switzerland. Ruutu captured a silver medal with Finland at the 2001 U-20 World Junior Championships, and bronze medals at the 2002 and 2003 World Juniors, leading the tournament in scoring in 2003. He was a member of Finland’s team at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, and the World Championships in 2006, 2007 and 2008, leading the tournament 2006 with 49 penalty minutes.