Dallas Stars sign Jere Lehtinen to new four-year contract
September 4, 2003
Dallas Stars General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today that the club has signed forward Jere Lehtinen to a new four-year contract through the 2006-2007 season. Lehtinen's current contract was set to expire on June 30, 2004.
"We are thrilled to get Jere Lehtinen signed to a new contract that will keep him with the Dallas Stars for the next four seasons," said Armstrong. "We've been able to give long-term commitments to players before, but this signing is a significant one that helps us maintain our stability over the next few seasons."
"Jere is one of the most consistent and hard working players in the league. He means a lot to this team and this franchise. We wanted to reward him with a four-year contract that both parties feel is fair market value."
Lehtinen, 30, won his third Selke Trophy in 2002-2003, given to the player voted best defensive forward in the NHL. One of just three players to ever win the Selke three times or more, Lehtinen has been a finalist for the award five times (also winning it in 1997-98 and 1998-99).
The 6-0, 200-pound winger led the Stars in goals last season with 31 (a new career-high), becoming just the sixth player since the team moved to Dallas to post 30 goals in one season. Lehtinen finished fourth on the team in points with 48. He also finished last season ranked fourth among league leaders in plus/minus with a +39 rating.
Lehtinen ranks 14th on the Stars' all-time leaders lists for goals (144), 17th in points (315), and 23rd in assists (171). He is also tied-for-ninth in all-time Stars playoff games with 77, tied-for-10th in playoff goals with 20, and tied for 14th in playoff points with 37. Lehtinen is one of four players remaining from the 1998-99 team that won the Stanley Cup (also Matvichuk, Modano and Zubov).
"I am very happy to get this new contract finalized with the Stars," said Lehtinen. "My family and I love the city of Dallas and we are excited to know we will be here for several more years. I am ready to go for the beginning of training camp next week and I feel very good about our chance to compete for the Stanley Cup."
Over his eight NHL seasons with the Stars organization, Lehtinen has been named to the NHL All-Star Game twice (1997-98, 2001-02). He was originally Dallas' fourth round selection (88th overall) in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft.