Goaltender Cam Ward has agreed to a six-year, $37.8 million extension with the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes made it official at a news conference in Raleigh on Wednesday afternoon.
"The pressure's going to be there to play like an elite goaltender now that I'm being paid like one," said Ward. "That's not something that I've shied away (from) in the past, and that's why I ultimately chose to be a goaltender, to handle that pressure and play up to that."
Last season, Ward won 39 games in the regular season and then backstopped the Hurricanes to the Eastern Conference final before bowing out to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.
After being drafted 25th overall in 2002, the Saskatoon native arrived on the NHL scene with a splash in the 2005-06 playoffs when he replaced starter Martin Gerber and led the Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup.
He was rewarded with the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP for his efforts.
''We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Cam prior to the season,'' said Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford. ''Signing Cam long term, along with Eric Staal, gives us a strong foundation to build teams year after year.''
This past summer, he attended the Canadian Olympic orientation camp to compete for one of three goaltending positions.