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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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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72