NHL notes: Predators reward Rinne

Predators goalie Pekka Rinne signed the largest contract in franchise history. (Darren...

Predators goalie Pekka Rinne signed the largest contract in franchise history. (Darren MakowichukQMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:47 PM ET

Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne has hit the 7-49 jackpot.

Rinne, 29, has been given a seven-year contract extension worth $49 million, the Predators announced Thursday.

Rinne would have become a free agent at the end of the season.

General manager David Poile said the signing "is further evidence of our ownership's commitment to keeping our core intact. This is the first step of a process designed to retain our key players and leaders."

The Predators now are expected to turn their attention to signing defencemen Ryan Suter and Shea Weber to long-term deals.

Taken in the eighth round of the 2004 draft, Rinne was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy last season and notched his 100th career win Saturday, shutting out the Anaheim Ducks 3-0.

With two shutouts this season, Rinne has boosted his career total to 22.

GM BECOMES OWNER

Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford has bought into the team he runs.

Rutherford was one of 10 new investors who will serve as minority owners of the team, Hurricanes majority owner and CEO Peter Karmano announced Thursday.

"These new partners are devoted to the continued success of the Hurricanes in North Carolina," Karmanos said in a statement. "Their investments in our team further solidify our franchise's standing in the National Hockey League and the North Carolina sports community."

Rutherford, in his 18th season with the franchise, is the second-longest tenured GM in the league. He signed a contract extension earlier this season that will take him through 2015-16.

BRIEFLY

The Phoenix Coyotes called up forward Kyle Chipchura from Portland of the AHL. Chipchura has four goals and two assists in eight games with Portland ... Defenceman Alexandre Picard was called up from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Picard has three assists in nine games for the AHL club ... The Buffalo Sabres called up forward Corey Tropp from Rochester of the AHL. It's the first time in his career that Tropp has been called up.


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