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Lightning sign defenceman Boyle to $40-million contract extension @NHLdotcom

TAMPA, Fla. - Dan Boyle will not be testing the free-agent market this summer.

The Tampa Bay Lightning signed the mobile defenceman to a $40 million, six-year contract extension on Monday.

Boyle was set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1, but had indicated he wanted to stay with the Lightning.

"I am grateful that we were able to get the deal done today," Boyle said in a statement. "I am very proud of what we have been able to accomplish here in Tampa over the past few years, including winning the Stanley Cup. And while this year may not have gone the way we have liked to this point, I am confident we can return to those winning ways very quickly. Otherwise, I would not have made the commitment to stay with the Lightning."

The five-foot-11, 184-pound Ottawa native has three goals and 11 points in 17 games with the Lightning this season. He missed 45 games earlier this season following wrist surgery. He has averaged 27:34 of ice time per game this season, including playing more than 30 minutes in five games since returning.

"We are extremely pleased to have Dan back in the fold for the next six years," Lightning GM Jay Feaster said. "Our team and our fans have been able to witness first-hand, during Dan's injury and recovery, how tough it is to win without Dan in our lineup."

Boyle was an NHL second-team all-star in the 2006-07 season after setting a Lightning record for goals by a defenceman in a season with 20. He ranked fourth on the Lightning in points (63), goals (20), assists (43) and power-play goals (10). His 63 points were the second most all-time by a Tampa Bay defenceman in a season.

In 503 NHL games with the Lightning and the Florida Panthers, Boyle has 75 goals and 203 assists.

Boyle was acquired from Florida on Jan. 7, 2002 in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2003 entry draft. He was originally signed by Florida as an undrafted free agent on March 30, 1998.

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