Hurricanes re-sign Pitkanen

Hurricanes defenceman Joni Pitkanen skates during the warmup prior to facing the Canadiens in...

Hurricanes defenceman Joni Pitkanen skates during the warmup prior to facing the Canadiens in Montreal, QUe., Nov. 13, 2010. (JOCELYN MALETTE/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:33 PM ET

Defenceman Joni Pitkanen won't be jumping into the free agency pool.

Pitkanen signed a three-year, $13.5 million contract with the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday, just three days before he was to become an unrestricted free agent. He will be paid $4.5 million per season, the same salary he had in 2010-11.

"Joni has been a very important part of our defence as he plays in all situations," Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said. "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, had five goals and 30 assists in 72 games with the Hurricanes last season.

The Hurricanes also signed forward Patrick Dwyer to a two-year, $1.25 million contract. The 28-year-old had eight goals and 10 assists in 80 games.

"Patrick has become a durable and reliable NHL forward," Rutherford said. "He is a very strong penalty killer, and he brings a lot of speed and energy to our group of forwards."


Videos

Photos