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Tampa Bay Lightning signs Marty St. Louis to a four-year extension through 2014-15

Tampa Bay Lightning star Marty St. Louis, last season's Lady Byng winner, agreed to a four-year contract extension that will keep him in Tampa Bay through the 2014-15 season, the team announced. No official word on the money, but it is believed the extension, that will kick in after St. Louis finishes his current contract next season, is for $22.5 million.

Signing St. Louis, 35, was one of the priorities set out by new general manager Steve Yzerman. St. Louis, coming off a terrific season in which he had 29 goals and 94 points, had expressed doubts he would remain with the Lightning, saying he might request a trade if he did not like the direction of the team. There also was this little matter: that Yzerman, as executive director for Team Canada, had kept St. Louis off the gold-medal Olympic squad.

But St. Louis praised Yzerman's hiring as GM, and he apparently is on the same page as Yzerman if he was able to commit to the long-term deal. If St. Louis plays out the contract , he will be 39 when it is over. His current deal has one year remaining and will pay $4 million.

Here is the announcement from the team:

The Tampa Bay Lightning signed right wing Martin St. Louis to a four-year contract extension today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced. The contract locks up St. Louis through the 2014-15 season.

“Today is a great day for the Lightning organization,” Yzerman said. “Marty means so much to this franchise, both on and off the ice.  His hard work and dedication are unsurpassed and we are thrilled that he will finish his career here in Tampa Bay.”

St. Louis, 5-foot-7, 177 pounds, is the Lightning’s all-time leader in shorthanded goals with 28.  He is also second on the franchise list for games played with 703, goals with 263, assists with 396, points with 659, power-play goals with 76 as well as game-winning goals with 47.  St. Louis is also the franchise leader in playoff goals with 23, points with 48, overtime game-winners with three and plus/minus with a plus-18.  He is tied for the Tampa Bay all-time playoff lead for games played with 45 and game-winning goals with seven.

"Since coming to Tampa in 2000, the goals for my playing career have evolved," said St. Louis. "I have now enjoyed many team and personal accolades, the highlight being our 2004 Stanley Cup win.

"Now the goal is to lead the Lightning back towards the top of the NHL while finishing my career here. My family and I would like to thank Steve and Mr. Vinik for giving us that opportunity. I will not let them or our fans in Tampa Bay down. We'll do everything we can as a team to achieve at the highest levels again."

A consummate leader in the dressing room, St. Louis was one of the backbones of the Lightning’s 2003-04 team that captured the franchise’s first Stanley Cup.  En route to the first championship of his career he also garnered the Hart and Art Ross Trophies as well as the Lester B. Pearson and Bud Light Plus/Minus Awards.  Most recently he added a Lady Byng Trophy to his trophy case at the 2010 NHL Awards in Las Vegas and was also named a second team post-season all-star.  St. Louis is a five-time representative at the NHL All-Star Game, also being named a starter during the 2003-04 season.

Last year St. Louis was one of three Lightning players to appear in all 82 games.  He currently holds the NHL’s fourth-longest active consecutive games played streak at 390.  He ranked fifth in the NHL with 94 points, matching the second-highest total of his career.  St. Louis was also fifth in the league with 65 assists and led the NHL in power play assists with 30.  He was third in the league for average ice time among forwards with 21:48.

A native of Laval, Quebec, St. Louis has played in 772 career NHL games with Tampa Bay and the Calgary Flames.  He has accumulated 267 goals, 679 points, 76 power play goals, 28 shorthanded goals and 48 game-winning goals with a plus-15 rating.

Originally undrafted out of the University of Vermont, St. Louis was signed by the Flames on February 19, 1998 before joining the Lightning as a free agent on July 31, 2000.

[Last modified: Saturday, July 31, 2010 12:15am]

    

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