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Defensman Pitkanen re-signs with Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers on Friday
re-signed defenseman Joni Pitkanen to a one-year contract.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Pitkanen, whom Philadelphia picked fourth overall in the 2002
NHL draft, won the Barry Ashbee Trophy as the Flyers' most
outstanding defenseman last season and the Pelle Lindbergh
Memorial Trophy as the team's most improved player.

The 22-year-old Finn collected 13 goals, 33 assists and 78
penalty minutes in 58 games with the Flyers last season.
Pitkanen established new career highs in goals, assists and
points (46) while leading the team in ice time at 23:42.

"Joni Pitkanen is a player who made great strides in his
development last season and we feel can one day be one of the
top defensemen in the league," Flyers general manager Bob Clarke
said. "His importance to the team is along the same lines as
Jeff Carter, Mike Richards and R.J. Umberger and it is a
priority for us to make sure that our younger players remain in
the organization."

In two seasons with Philadelphia, Pitkanen has 21 goals, 52
assists and 122 penalty minutes in 129 games.