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Hurricanes sign Tuomo Ruutu to three-year, US$11.4-million deal

RALEIGH, N.C. - The Carolina Hurricanes have locked up Tuomo Ruutu for three seasons.

The Hurricanes said Thursday that they avoided arbitration with the physical forward by signing him to a deal worth US$11.4 million.

The 26-year-old Ruutu is coming off a regular season in which he had career highs with 26 goals, 28 assists and 54 points, then added a goal and three assists during the Hurricanes' run to the Eastern Conference finals.

Ruutu will make $3 million this season, $4 million in 2010-11 and $4.4 million in 2011-12. He made $2.25 million last season.

General manager Jim Rutherford calls Ruutu "one of the cornerstones of our team moving forward."

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