Boyle signs six-year contract extension with Lightning

TAMPA BAY, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed defenseman Dan Boyle to a six-year contract extension worth a reported $40 million.

General manager Jay Feaster announced the deal Monday night, the day before the NHL's trade deadline.

Tampa Bay kept Boyle but parted ways with high-scoring forward Vaclav Prospal.

Prospal, who was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers for minor league defenseman Alexandre Picard and a conditional pick in the 2009 draft, was considered expendable for the Eastern Conference's last-place team, which wasn't expected to re-sign him after his contract ran out this season. Feaster, instead, concentrated on keeping Boyle.

"I am grateful that we were able to get the deal done today," Boyle said. "This year may not have gone the way we have liked to this point. I am confident we can return to those winning ways very quickly."

Boyle has three goals and 11 points in 17 games since missing 45 games because of a wrist injury. The nine-year NHL veteran was coming off a career-year in which he had 20 goals and 63 points. He could've become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

"Our team and our fans have been able to witness firsthand during Dan's injury and recovery, how tough it is to win without Dan in our lineup," Feaster said, noting the Lightning (25-30-7) are 8-7-2 in their past 17 games.

With Boyle signed, the Lightning are expected to make a bid to trade high-priced forward Brad Richards to free up salary cap space. Richards has three years left on a contract that will pay him $7.8 million a season.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.