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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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I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie