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After career-best year, Jiri Tlusty signs 2-year, $3.2 million contract to stay with Carolina

Carolina Hurricanes right wing Jiri Tlusty (left), of the Czech Republic, celebrates with teammate Jamie McBain (4) after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. Tlusty has signed a two-year contract worth $3.2 million to stay with the Carolina Hurricanes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris O'Meara

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Carolina Hurricanes right wing Jiri Tlusty (left), of the Czech Republic, celebrates with teammate Jamie McBain (4) after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. Tlusty has signed a two-year contract worth $3.2 million to stay with the Carolina Hurricanes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris O'Meara

RALEIGH, N.C. - Jiri Tlusty has signed a two-year contract worth $3.2 million to stay with the Carolina Hurricanes.

The team said Tuesday that Tlusty agreed to a deal that will pay him $1.5 million next season and $1.7 million in 2013-14.

The 24-year-old forward had career highs this season with 79 games, 17 goals, 19 assists and 36 points. He could have become a restricted free agent July 1, meaning the team had the right to match any offers he received.

General manager Jim Rutherford says Tlusty "showed that he can contribute as a top-end NHL forward."

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