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Kari Lehtonen Contract: Stars, Goalie Reach 5-Year, $29.5 Million Extension

Kari Lehtonen has re-signed with the Dallas Stars, signing a 5-year, $29.5 million contract extension on Friday.

Apr 3, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) warms up before the game against the San Jose Sharks at the American Airlines Center. The Sharks defeated the Stars 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE
Apr 3, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen (32) warms up before the game against the San Jose Sharks at the American Airlines Center. The Sharks defeated the Stars 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

The Dallas Stars announced on Friday that they have re-signed goalkeeper Kari Lehtonen to a big contract extension which will pay him $29.5 million over the next five years.

Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk showed excitement with the move in the official press release from the Stars, put out after the signing on Friday:

Kari Lehtonen has worked extremely hard in his time with the Dallas Stars to establish himself as an elite goaltender in the NHL. 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.

Lehtonen won 32 games with a .922 save percentage and 2.33 goals-against average in 2012, the best season of the 28-year old's career. The 2012 season, assuming there is one, will be the fourth season with the stars for the 6'4, 217 pound netminder.

For more on the Dallas Stars, check out Defending Big D. More on the NHL can be found at SB Nation's NHL hub and on SB Nation's YouTube channel:

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.