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Hurricanes Re-Sign Defenseman Joni Pitkanen

Defenseman led Carolina blueliners in assists last season; agrees to three-year contract

Tuesday, 06.28.2011 / 4:38 PM ET / News
By Terrell Williams
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Hurricanes Re-Sign Defenseman Joni Pitkanen

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 defenseman Joni Pitkanen on a three-year contract. The deal will pay Pitkanen $4.5 million per season.

 “Joni has been a very important part of our defense as he plays in all situations,” said Rutherford. “He plays a lot of minutes, and is one of the top puck-movers in the league. We are very pleased that he wanted to return to the Hurricanes.”

Pitkanen, 27, led all Hurricanes defenseman in assists (30) and was second among Carolina blueliners in points (35), skating in 72 of the team’s 82 games during the 2010-11 season. The Oulu, Finland, native ranked 13th in the NHL in average ice time per game (25:01), and the Hurricanes earned points in 26 of the 30 games in which he had a point (21-4-5). Pitkanen (6’3”, 210 lbs.) earned his 200th career NHL assist on Feb. 25 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and matched his career-long point streak with points in six consecutive games from Nov. 17 through Nov. 28 (1g, 5a).

Originally drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round, fourth overall, of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, Pitkanen has totaled 51 goals, 205 assists (256 points) and 456 penalty minutes in 483 career NHL regular-season games with Philadelphia, Edmonton and Carolina. He has skated in 39 career Stanley Cup playoff games, collecting 13 assists. Pitkanen was acquired by the Hurricanes on July 1, 2008 in exchange for Erik Cole, and has earned 114 points (18g, 96a) in 214 regular-season games, and eight points (0g, 8a) in 18 playoff games since joining Carolina. He represented Finland at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, earning a bronze medal.

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 54 15 19 -13 34
J. Skinner 54 19 12 -3 31
V. Rask 52 12 19 0 31
J. Staal 54 12 19 8 31
K. Versteeg 53 10 21 1 31
E. Staal 54 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 54 8 16 -9 24
A. Nestrasil 47 7 12 0 19
J. Nordstrom 43 5 9 2 14
R. Hainsey 54 3 11 -11 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 6 .908 2.38
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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