Lehtonen inks five-year extension with Stars.

The Dallas Stars today announced the signing of goaltender Kari Lehtonen to a five-year, $29.5 million contract extension, effective 2013-14. The new deal is worth an average annual salary of $5.9 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lehtonen, 28, is entering the final season of his current three year deal, worth an average cap hit of $3.55 million, though the actual salary for this season is $4.25 million. Even if the dollars under his new deal aren’t front- or back-loaded, that’s still a nice raise, one which should blunt the sting of the inevitable increased escrow claw-backs in the next CBA.

He’s performed quite well as the Stars starting goalie and appears to have put the injuries which hampered him prior to coming to Dallas behind him. If Lehtonen remains reasonably healthy over the course of this deal and continues posting up solid numbers, this should prove worthwhile  for the Stars over the long haul.