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Ruutu signs 4-year deal with Hurricanes

  |   Feb. 22, 2012 at 6:51 PM
RALEIGH, N.C., Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Forward Tuomo Ruutu and the Carolina Hurricanes have agreed on a four-year contract extension, General Manager Jim Rutherford said Wednesday.

Ruutu, 29, was set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and was the subject of trade speculation until he sustained an upper-body injury last week.

"Players like Tuomo are extremely difficult to replace, and it is very important for our franchise to keep him here long-term," 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."

The eight-year NHL veteran has racked up 17 goals and 30 points over 57 games this season.

During his 517-game career with the Chicago Blackhawks and Carolina, Ruutu has amassed 128 goals, 295 points and 498 penalty minutes.

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