It’s official: ‘Canes ink Skinner to six-year, $34.35 million extension

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Last night, we passed along word (well, tweet) from Carolina GM Jim Rutherford hinting at a contract extension for Jeff Skinner.

Today, Rutherford made it official.

The ‘Canes announced they’ve signed the 20-year-old to a six-year, $34.35 million deal that will pay him $4.35 million in 2013-14 and $6 million per from 2014-19.

The deal has an average annual value of $5.725 million.

“Jeff is a cornerstone player for our team, and his long-term commitment to the Hurricanes is great news for our franchise and our fans,” Rutherford told the Hurricanes website. “At 20 years old, he is still in the very early stages of his career, and we felt it was important to ensure he would be spending much more of it in Raleigh.”

Skinner won the Calder Trophy in 2010-11 and has scored 107 points in his first 146 career games with the ‘Canes.

The signing caps off what’s been a whirlwind — and spendy — summer in Raleigh.

Rutherford broke the bank and the ‘Canes have become the Eastern Conference’s most dramatically altered team in the process. Had it not been for Minnesota signing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, that statement could’ve been applicable for the entire NHL.

The trade-and-sign of Jordan Staal, the acquisition of Alex Semin and the Skinner extension cost the club over $100 million.

If you go back to January, you could lump in the Tim Gleason extension ($16 million) and Tuomo Ruutu extension ($19 million)…bringing Rutherford’s grand total to $136 million.

Of note, Carolina now has its core group of Staal, Skinner, Ruutu, Gleason, Cam Ward, Jay Harrison and captain Eric Staal locked up through 2016.