Forward Jussi Jokinen avoids free agency, re-signs for 3 years with Hurricanes

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RALEIGH, N.C. - The Carolina Hurricanes re-signed forward Jussi Jokinen on Thursday to a three-year contract worth $9 million.

The team announced the deal one day before Jokinen was due to become an unrestricted free agent.

Jokinen, 28, will make US$3 million a year through 2013-14. He made $1.9 million last season, when he had 52 points in 70 games. He is regarded as the team's specialist in the shootout.

"Jussi is a player who fit in with our team from day one in all situations, and has been a valuable offensive contributor," general manager Jim Rutherford said. "He feels that he has found a home in Carolina, and we are glad that he has chosen to stay with the Hurricanes."

Rutherford previously said that after meeting with Jokinen's agent last week at the NHL draft, he was optimistic that he would re-sign the Finnish forward.

Jokinen became the fourth player this week to avoid free agency and sign multiyear deals with Carolina, joining forwards Chad LaRose and Patrick Dwyer and defenceman Joni Pitkanen. Additionally, defenceman Jay Harrison re-signed two weeks ago.

That leaves forward Erik Cole as the most notable of the Hurricanes who appears headed for free agency.

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