Pitkanen Signs 3-Year Deal with Canes

This money with this one is a bit of a head-scratcher…

The Hurricanes acquired Joni Pitkanen from Edmonton in exchange for Erik Cole on Tuesday. Pitkanen was a restricted free agent who made $2.6 million last season, which meant that a “qualifying offer” to him would have been below $3 million. But Carolina signed him to a three-year contract today which will pay him $3.5 million this year, $4 million next season and $4.5 million in 2010-2011. So much for the Cole deal saving the Hurricanes salary…Cole will make $4 million this season with Edmonton based on the contract he signed with Carolina three seasons ago, so instead of $1 million-plus in savings, it’s half that. In addition, the dollars from there go up substantially.

Obviously the team believes Pitkanen will be a big part of its success in the next few years…

To read a great post about the Cole/Pitkanen deal from Hockey Buzz’s Hurricanes blogger Matt Karash, and see what fans in Philadelphia (where Joni played several seasons) think, go here.



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