Heika of the Dallas Morning News is reporting this morning that the
Dallas Stars are close to a 3-year contract extension with goaltender
Lehtonen, a restricted free agent, needed a
qualifying offer that at least matched his $3 million salary from last
season. With a three-year extension, the Stars would more than meet that
requirement and have their goaltender future locked up for the
While some thought that the Stars might give
Lehtonen just a one-year deal, it was expected that after Lehtonen
proved himself more than capable in the final months of the season that
they would go for a longer commitment.
If the deal is worth
anywhere in the $3 to $3.5 million per year range, then the Stars will
have a bit more room to try a land a defenseman free agent this summer.
Despite the team being up for sale, a sale that hopefully is finalized
before the season starts, the Stars are still operating under a tight
budget that falls somewhere around $10 million under the salary cap.
next question is what the Stars might do for a backup. Matt Climie and
Brent Krahn, their two goaltenders in the AHL, are both set to become
unrestricted free agents this summer.