The Carolina Hurricanes don’t have to worry about a restricted free agent negotiation with Tarmo Reunanen. The young defenseman has signed a two-year contract with Lukko in Finland after he failed to suit up for a single playoff game for the Calder Cup-winning Chicago Wolves.
Reunanen, 24, landed with Carolina at the deadline in a minor league trade in order to provide Chicago with additional defensive depth, something they proved unnecessary as they stomped their way through the AHL playoffs. His exclusive rights can be retained by issuing him a qualifying offer, though it does seem like this may be the end of his time with the Hurricanes.
A two-year deal will leave Reunanen 26 years old at its expiry, and just a year away from unrestricted free agency. He could at that point sign a contract to return, though this isn’t just a new opportunity–it’s a return home. He played several seasons for Lukko before coming over and had his only Liiga playoff appearance with them in 2019.
The Finnish blueliner didn’t even come over to North America until 2020, despite being a fourth-round pick in 2016. He managed four games at the NHL level with the Rangers and 69 more in the minor leagues, split between the Wolves and the Hartford Wolf Pack.
An offensively-gifted defenseman, he did rack up 37 points in those AHL contests but wasn’t able to really make a mark at the NHL level. He’s a name to keep an eye on down the road but one that very well may be staying overseas at this point.