Kari Lehtonen Signs 5 Year Extension
According to the Dallas Stars' official Twitter account, goaltender Kari Lehtonen has signed a five year extension worth $29.5 million. This extension will take Lehtonen up to the 2017-18 season with a cap hit of $5.9 million per season.
The native of Helsinki, Finland, signed a three year extension upon arrival from Dallas, and one year remains. Under the current CBA, players must wait until there is at least one year remaining on a contract to sign an extension. The current CBA expires at midnight tomorrow.
With the Stars, Lehtonen has posted a 72-50-15 record along with a 2.56 goals against average and a .915 save percentage over 140 games. GM Joe Nieuwendyk believes this kind of consistent production will make the Stars into something fearsome in the future.
"We believe that his work ethic and leadership will help guide this team into a perennial Stanley Cup contender,” Nieuwendyk said in a release.
Injuries remain a point of contention for the 28 year old goaltender, as he suffered a groin injury last season that kept him out of the lineup for 12 games, and a back injury two years ago that forced him out for 4 games. He suffered long-term groin and back injuries during his time in Atlanta as well.
The insurance policy remains Richard Bachman, who agreed to a one-year extension before arbitration this summer. He will be the backup coming into a season that will likely start late.
Lehtonen was acquired from the Atlanta Thrashers in 2010 in exchange for defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy and a 2010 4th round pick.