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The Globe and Mail

Stars sign Lehtonen to five-year, $29.5-million deal

Finland's goalie Kari Lehtonen

Vesa Moilanen/AP

The Dallas Stars have signed goaltender Kari Lehtonen to a five year contract extension worth $29.5-million.

That works out to an annual cap hit of $5.9-million per season.

The 28 year old posted a 32-22-4 record last year, becoming the first goaltender in Stars history to start the season with seven straight wins. He allowed fewer than two goals in 37 of his 59 games.

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"Kari Lehtonen has worked extremely hard in his time with the Dallas Stars to establish himself as an elite goaltender in the NHL," said General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk. "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."

A first round pick, second overall in 2002 by the Atlanta Thrashers, Lehtonen has spent the past four seasons in Dallas, tying or setting career highs in games played (69), wins (34), save percentage (.922), goals against average (2.33) and minutes played (4,119). He owns two of the top-three franchise records for most saves in a single season (2010-11 & 2011-12), and has the franchise record for most assists in a single season (6 in 2010-11).

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