Hurricanes, Ruutu agree extension

The Carolina Hurricanes have agreed to a four-year, $19 million contract extension with forward Tuomo Ruutu.

The deal will pay Ruutu $4 million next season and $5 million in each of the next three years in a deal that runs through the 2015-16 season. He would’ve been an unrestricted free agent after this season.

The 29-year-old Ruutu is second among Hurricanes skaters with 17 goals and fourth with 30 points in 57 games. He has 80 goals and 107 assists in 289 games with Carolina since being acquired from Chicago in February 2008.

Ruutu was also a member of Finland’s 2010 Winter Olympics team, which won a bronze medal.

Team president and general manager Jim Rutherford says it was important for Carolina to keep Ruutu in Raleigh long term.