Frisco, Tex. –
Dallas Stars General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk announced today that the hockey club and goaltender Kari Lehtonen
have agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension worth $10.65 million ($3.55 million per year average). This extension will put Lehtonen under contract through the 2012-13 season.
“We were excited to acquire Kari Lehtonen
in February because of his size, skill and potential to once again be a top-tier goaltender in this league,” Nieuwendyk said. “His play during the last month of the season reaffirmed our belief that he can be our starter for next year and seasons to come. We’re very happy to agree to terms with Kari on this contract extension.”
Lehtonen, 26, posted a 6-3-0 record with a 2.44 GAA and a .926 save percentage over his last nine games and totaled 12 games going 6-4-0 with a 2.81 GAA and a .911 save percentage in 2009-10 for Dallas. The 6-4, 215-pound goaltender’s best season came in 2006-07 when he led the Thrashers to their first Southeast division title. He went 34-24-9 including four shutouts with a 2.79 GAA and a .912 save percentage. Lehtonen was acquired via trade with the Atlanta Thrashers on February 9, 2010 in exchange for Ivan Vishnevskiy and Dallas’ fourth round draft choice in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
The native of Helsinki, Finland, has played in 216 career NHL games, posting a 100-87-17 record with a 2.87 GAA and a .912 save percentage. He was drafted second overall by Atlanta in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.