Ruutu glad he's staying, credits the Finnish connection
Jul 23, 2009
Tuomo Ruutu is feeling great, happy to still be in Carolina, and a little richer too. The Carolina Hurricanes re-signed the gritty forward to a three year contract worth nearly $12 million. Soon after he was on the phone all the way from Finland to tell 99.9 The Fan ESPN Radio and The Sports Lunch all about it.
Just earlier this week general manager Jim Rutherford said it appeared that Ruutu's contract situation was going to arbitration. Ruutu himself said that he tried not to get too involved in the contract disputes, but admitted that he did let his agent know he really wanted to stay put.
"Obviously I knew what was going on but all the time I told my agent I want to stay there, I want to stay there for a period of time," Ruutu told Mike Maniscalco on Thursday. "I'm so happy right now."
In his first full season with the Hurricanes, the 26-year-old smashed his career highs in goals (26), assists (28) and points (54). He seems to have found his place.
"I believe that people around you make you better, not just on the ice but off the ice too. People are nice in the city and organization." Ruutu said.
The key to the Canes recent success though, lies with the Finnish players. The more this team can get the better as Ruutu, Jussi Jokinen and Joni Pitkanen all had big seasons.
"Yeah I don't know what's going on, before I got there they only had two players ever," Ruutu joked. "Not too many though, you gotta have a limit for that."