Hurricanes sign defenceman Joni Pitkanen to US$12-million, three-year contract

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Carolina Hurricanes signed newly acquired defenceman Joni Pitkanen to a US$12-million, three-year contract on Wednesday.

Pitkanen, acquired from the Edmonton Oilers on Monday for winger Erik Cole, was a restricted free agent. The deal will pay Pitkanen $3.5 million in 2008-09, $4 million in 2009-10 and $4.5 million in 2010-11.

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The 24-year-old had 26 points (8-18) in 63 games with the Oilers last season while playing 24:07 minutes per game, second on the team. Pitkanen had 142 points (33-109) in 269 career NHL regular-season games with Philadelphia and Edmonton.

The Flyers selected Pitkanen fourth overall at the 2002 draft.