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Ruutu, Canes Happy with Longer Deal

Thursday, 07.23.2009 / 12:52 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Ruutu, Canes Happy with Longer Deal
There was a lot of back-and-forth between the Hurricanes and Tuomo Ruutu over the length of a potential new contract, but in the end, both sides appear to have gotten what they wanted.

Paul Branecky
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Ruutu agreed to a three-year deal with Carolina on Thursday morning, ending a process that started about a month ago and was scheduled to end at an arbitration hearing on July 30 at the latest. As per arbitration rules, Ruutu would have received no more than a one-year contract from that hearing.

“My preference was to stay longer than one year,” said Ruutu on a phone call from his native Finland. “After the season I really liked being in Carolina so much, and if it’s just one year you don’t know what’s going to happen when the trade deadline comes up, so I preferred the three-year deal.”

That was also the preference of the Hurricanes, as General Manager Jim Rutherford was hopeful all along that the team could secure the player’s services for a longer term after a season in which he set career highs in every offensive category and trailed only Eric Staal in team goal-scoring

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Both sides were also hopeful that the manner would be concluded before the upcoming arbitration hearing, one way or another. Despite admittedly letting his agent handle the majority of the contract talks, Ruutu made his opinion clear in that regard.

“To be honest, I told my agent that I didn’t want to go to arbitration,” he said. “I wanted to get this done, and I’ve heard it’s never nice to go to arbitration. I wanted to stay for a longer period of time.”

Although he kept in touch with countrymen and fellow Hurricanes Jussi Jokinen and Joni Pitkanen throughout the summer, Ruutu said that their presence wasn’t the main reason for his desire to settle in Carolina for the next few seasons.

“During the process we joked about it and stuff like that, but in the end it wasn’t the case,” he said. “It’s obviously nice to have them, but the main reason was that I really enjoyed being there. I like the city, I like the fans and I like playing in that organization. I don’t think that the grass is greener anywhere else.”

Ruutu said he’s hoping to make the seven-hour drive north to see Jokinen and Pitkanen before the summer is over, but if nothing else he’ll see them at Finland’s Olympic camp in August. All three players have been invited to the meetings, which are not expected to include on-ice sessions as per the NHL Players’ Associations recent concerns about adequate insurance.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
K. Versteeg 63 11 22 -6 33
E. Staal 63 10 23 -3 33
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81