The Carolina Hurricanes took care of one of their biggest pieces of lingering offseason business Tuesday, signing restricted free-agent center Victor Rask to a six-year contract worth $24 million. The deal will pay Rask $4 million per year each season of the contract.
Rask’s new contract is similar to those recently signed by the Panthers’ Vincent Trocheck (6 years, $28.5 million) and the Flyers’ Sean Couturier (6 years, $26 million), both of whom will be making less money up front in their deals but will eventually increase their salaries as they approach seasons that bought out unrestricted free-agent years. Rask’s deal, while more expensive up front, buys out two UFA years at a consistent salary, a bit of shrewd business by GM Ron Francis.
"Victor has gotten better every season that he’s been a part of our organization," said Francis in a statement. "He is a big part of this team’s present and future, and we are thrilled to sign him to a longer-term deal."
Rask was the Canes’ top power play performer last season with 18 points, and finished second to Jeff Skinner in goals (21) and points (48).
With Rask now under contract, the Canes have five restricted free agents remaining to sign: Ryan Murphy, Brendan Woods, Keegan Lowe, Dennis Robertson and Brody Sutter. Rask’s new deal moves the Canes over the salary-cap floor by approximately $1 million.
The release from the team is below.
‘CANES, RASK AGREE TO TERMS ON SIX-YEAR CONTRACTCenter recorded a career-high 48 points in 2015-16
Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with center Victor Rask on a six-year contract. The deal will pay Rask $4 million per year through the 2021-22 NHL season.
"Victor has gotten better every season that he’s been a part of our organization," said Francis. "He is a big part of this team’s present and future, and we are thrilled to sign him to a longer-term deal."
Rask, 23, established a career high and ranked second among Hurricanes skaters with 48 points (21g, 27a) in 80 games played during the 2015-16 season. The Leksand, Sweden, native ranked second on the team in assists (27) and third in goals (21). Rask (6’2", 200 lbs.) led the Hurricanes in power-play points (18) and was second in power-play assists (13). He was fourth among Carolina forwards in ice time per game (16:58)
Carolina’s second-round selection (42nd overall) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Rask has totaled 81 points (32a, 49a) in 160 career NHL games with the Hurricanes. He appeared in 86 American Hockey League (AHL) games with Charlotte prior to making the jump to the NHL, registering 44 points (17g, 27a) for the Checkers. Prior to turning professional, Rask spent two seasons with the Western Hockey League’s Calgary Hitmen, notching 104 points (47g, 57a) in 101 career games. He has represented Sweden in a dozen international tournaments, including the 2012 and 2013 World Junior Championships, winning gold in 2012 and silver in 2013.