PITTSBURGH - Penguins defenceman Kris Letang has signed a US$14-million, four-year contract extension that runs through the 2013-14 season.
The deal, which averages $3.5 million per season, prevents him from becoming a restricted free agent.
Re-signing the 22-year-old Letang became a priority for Pittsburgh because defenceman Sergei Gonchar's contract is running out after this season. Letang has three goals and 24 assists in 67 games this season.
The Penguins have signed forwards Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal, and defencemen Brooks Orpik and Letang through 2013-14, and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury through 2014-15.
Letang scored the winner in overtime against Washington in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals last season, helping the Penguins win the series in seven games.