Hurricanes' Tim Gleason re-signs

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes have signed defenseman Tim Gleason to a four-year contract extension worth $16 million.

The team said Monday that the deal keeps Gleason under contract through the 2015-16 season. He could have become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

He will make $3.5 million in the first and last years of the deal, and $4.5 million in both 2013-14 and 2014-15.

General manager Jim Rutherford lauded Gleason for his contributions on and off the ice.

"We thank Tim for choosing to stay with the Hurricanes long term," Rutherford said in a statement. "He is one of our core players, someone who brings character and leadership to our locker room, along with being a key piece on the ice. This is a very important signing for our team going forward."

The 29-year-old leads the team's defensemen with 87 hits and a plus-minus rating of plus-2. He is making $3.5 million this year.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.