Dallas Stars spend Big Money on Injury-Prone Goalie Kari Lehtonen reports HockeyTix.co
$5.9 per year is steep to most fans, only results will prove their doubts unwarranted
The deal is laid out as $29.5 million of a 5-year period starting from the 2013-2014 season, according to Mark Stepneski of the stars.
Lehtonen is in the final years of a 3-year deal, wherein he had been capped at $3.55 million.
The Stars have issued a statement regarding the player’s new contract.
Lehtonen, 28, concluded his eighth NHL season in 2011-12, earning a 32-22-4 record with a .922 save percentage, a 2.33 goals against average and four shutouts in 59 games. Earlier in the season, he became the first goaltender in Dallas Stars history to win seven consecutive games to start a season and finished the campaign allowing two-or-fewer goals in 37 of his 59 games. He was named the NHL's Second Star of October after posting an 8-1-0 record with a .947 SV% and a 1.75 GAA.
"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."
While Lehtonen is entering into his prime, he is someone whose stability is still within question. He has worked hard to better his general conditioning, but his history of ending up on the shelf more season after season. With a salary that places him seventh among highest paid goalies, the number is quite daunting.
His ability relies wholly upon his ability to stay healthy and away from even nagging injuries; however, there is one basic reason why he is receiving such a deal from the Stars:
“The Price contract is the most interesting when applied to Kari. The Canadiens gave Price six years and 39 million dollars for a cap hit of 6.5 million. They've been pretty comparable performers over the past couple of seasons at even strength. Price is quite a bit younger than Lehtonen (24 vs 28) it stands to reason that Price would get a longer deal than Lehtonen.”
With the $6 million AAV, the deal simply is what it is, no matter the taste it may leave in fans’ collective mouths.
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Kevin Joel Provost
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