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Miller signs five-year contract with Lightning

Could have been restricted free agent, gets $26.25 million from Tampa Bay @NHLdotcom

J.T. Miller signed a five-year, $26.25 million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. The contract has an average annual value of $5.25 million.

The 25-year-old forward could have become a restricted free agent July 1.

Miller was acquired by the Lightning, along with defenseman Ryan McDonagh, in a trade with the New York Rangers on Feb. 26. He had 18 points (10 goals, eight assists) in 19 regular-season games with the Lightning, and had eight points (two goals, six assists) in 17 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

"The Lightning organization is one that my family and I fit into really well," Miller said Wednesday. "They are one of the best hockey teams in the League. The situation there and the atmosphere there is one of the best that there is in the sport. With the city and my family it was a really good fit."

Video: J.T. Miller signs five-year extension with Lightning

Between the Rangers and Lightning, he played 82 games for the third straight season, and his 23 goals and 58 points were personal NHL-bests.

Selected by the Rangers with the No. 15 pick of the 2011 NHL Draft, Miller has 190 points (82 goals, 108 assists) in 360 regular-season games, and 24 points (three goals, 21 assists) in 57 playoff games.

Miller said the security that comes with having a five-year contract should make him a better player.  

"I think a little stability is really going to help me and I think I will be more relaxed and play consistent hockey without worrying about another contract year," Miller said. 

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