DALLAS STARS SIGN JERE LEHTINEN TO TWO-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION
Three-Time Selke Trophy Winner's Contract Extended Through 2008-2009 Season
FRISCO, Tex. -- Dallas Stars General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today that the club has signed right wing Jere Lehtinen to a two-year contract extension worth $8 million. The club exercised its option on Lehtinen's contract for the 2006-07 season, and this extension will keep him under contract with the Stars through the 2008-09 campaign.
"Jere has been a model of professionalism throughout his career," said Armstrong. "He is one of the best two-way forwards in the game. Consistency and honesty are Jere's trademarks and he brings them to the rink every day. We're very excited to sign him to this contract extension."
Lehtinen's consistency can be measured in his performance on both ends of the ice. He has led the Stars in goals in two of the last three seasons and was a finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the league's best defensive forward in both of those campaigns (winning the award in 2002-03). Lehtinen is a three-time winner of the Selke Trophy (also 1998-99 & 1997-98) and has been a finalist six times. He is one of three players to ever win the Selke three times or more (also Bob Gainey and Guy Carbonneau). A six-time 20-goal scorer, he has been named to the NHL All-Star Game twice (1998, 2002). Lehtinen was Dallas' fourth round selection (88th overall) in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft.
The 33-year-old winger set career-highs last season in goals (33) and power play goals (14) and tied career-highs in game-winning goals (6) and games played (80). Among team leaders in 2005-06, Lehtinen ranked first in goals, power play goals and game-winners. He recorded game-winning goals in three consecutive games from Nov. 13-18, 2005, becoming only the third player in franchise history to accomplish that feat (also Pierre Turgeon from Nov. 13 - 17, 2002 and Wayne Connelly from Jan. 27 - 31, 1968). Lehtinen appeared in his 600th career NHL game on Dec. 21, 2005 at Columbus, and registered a career-high six-game goal-scoring streak (6 goals) from Dec. 7 - 19, 2005.
The Espoo, Finland, native has appeared in 648 career NHL games, all with Dallas, and has posted 190 goals and 203 assists for 393 points with 164 penalty minutes. A member of the Stars' 1999 Stanley Cup championship squad, Lehtinen has also skated in 87 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, notching 41 points (23 goals and 18 assists) and eight penalty minutes.
Lehtinen appeared in his fourth Olympics with Team Finland during the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy, earning a Silver Medal with Finland and recording three goals and five assists for eight points with a +6 rating. Lehtinen also represented his country at the 1996 and 2004 World Cup of Hockey tournaments, and helped lead Finland to its first ever gold medal at the World Championships in 1995.
The Dallas Stars will open their 2006 preseason slate against the Atlanta Thrashers at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 18 at American Airlines Center. For more information, please call (214) GO-STARS or visit DallasStars.com.