July 1 is the opening of the free agent market, but the Lightning took part of the day to lock up one of their best players to a contract extension. The team announced that they have signed right wing Martin St. Louis
to a four-year contract extension.
St. Louis had one year remaining on his current deal, which would have made him a free agent next summer. Instead, the Lightning will retain his services through the 2014-15 season.
St. Louis is another addition to the Lightning's stable of long-term contracts. Currently, they have Ryan Malone
and Mattias Ohlund
locked up through the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, respectively. They also still have Vincent Lecavalier
for the 10 seasons that are remaining on his monster deal that runs through 2019-20.
The 35-year-old St. Louis is coming off the second-best season of his career statistically speaking, notching 29 goals and 94 points. He sports career highs of 43 goals and 102 points, which he recorded in the 2006-07 season. St. Louis also won the Lady Byng trophy for sportsmanship on June 23 at the NHL awards.