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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 / 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 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
3 NYR 61 38 17 6 192 152 82
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 61 12 28 -16 40
E. Staal 56 18 19 -10 37
E. Lindholm 60 11 16 -16 27
J. Skinner 56 16 10 -16 26
R. Nash 58 7 15 -9 22
N. Gerbe 57 7 15 -11 22
V. Rask 59 8 12 -16 20
J. McClement 61 6 12 3 18
J. Staal 25 4 12 -2 16
A. Nestrasil 33 4 10 4 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 17 19 4 .913 2.37
A. Khudobin 7 11 3 .906 2.60