Negotiations with Joni Pitkanen didn't take long. The Canes and the restricted free agent defenseman acquired in Tuesday's trade for Erik Cole agreed to a three-year deal worth $12 million on Wednesday.
Pitkanen will make $3.5 million this season, $4 million in 2009-10 and $4.5 million in 2010-11, making him Carolina's highest-paid defenseman by a wide margin.
The Canes now have seven defensemen under contract and one restricted free agent, Dennis Seidenberg.
They're also over budget at approximately $46.7 million for next season for 21 players, which makes a salary-dump trade of a defenseman all the more likely.