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Dallas Stars sign veteran goalie Kari Lehtonen to five-year extension

Friday, 09.14.2012 / 11:25 AM / News

The Canadian Press

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Dallas Stars sign veteran goalie Kari Lehtonen to five-year extension

DALLAS - The Dallas Stars signed veteran goaltender Kari Lehtonen to a US$29.5-million, five-year contract extension on Friday.

The 28-year-old netminder posted a 32-22-4 record last season with four shutouts in 59 games. Lehtonen recorded a .922 save percentage and 2.33 goals-against average.

"Kari Lehtonen has worked extremely hard in his time with the Dallas Stars to establish himself as an elite goaltender in the NHL," general manager Joe Nieuwendyk said in a release.

"We believe that his best days as a goaltender are ahead and that his work ethic and leadership will help guide this team into a perennial Stanley Cup contender."

Lehtonen will be paid $5.9 million per year through the 2017-'18 season.

In eight NHL seasons with the Stars and Atlanta Thrashers, the six-foot-four, 217-pound Helsinki native has a 166-133-32 record with a 2.71 goals-against average and 21 shutouts.

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What we expected is what we got. Very mature young individual that's focused. He is on the right track. He's not only a great hockey individual, but he's a good person off the ice. He seemed to take a leadership role with this group right off the hop and ran away with it, and was vocal, was respectful, was everything it takes to be a Panther. His future looks bright.

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