Ruutu agrees to four-year, $19M extension with Hurricanes Staff

2/22/2012 5:32:13 PM

One of the most talked-about forwards of the NHL trade season looks to be off the market, as the Carolina Hurricanes have agreed to terms with forward Tuomo Ruutu on a four-year contract extension worth $19 million.

The average annual value of the deal is $4.75 million per season.

According to the Raleigh News and Observer, the deal has a no-trade clause for the first three seasons.

"Players like Tuomo are extremely difficult to replace, and it is very important for our franchise to keep him here long term," Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said. "Along with the physical elements and skill level that he brings on the ice, Tuomo is a popular leader in our locker room. We are very happy that he has committed to what we are building here, and is excited about what the future holds for the Hurricanes."

Wednesday was the day that the club had set as a deadline to negotiate a new deal with Ruutu. He was playing out the final season of a three-year, $11.4 million contract and was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Ruutu's name was mentioned in trade rumours consistently over the past few weeks as a possible rental player if the Hurricanes had been unable to re-sign him.

The 29-year-old has 17 goals and 13 assists through 57 games with the Hurricanes this season.

The Vantaa, Finland native has spent eight years in the NHL, the last six with the Hurricanes. The former ninth-overall draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks has 128 goals and 295 points in his career.

In 16 career playoff games, Ruutu has one goal and four points.