Trevor Daley signs long extension

The Dallas Stars have agreed to a six-year contract extension with defenseman Trevor Daley. The deal, which will lock up Daley through the 2016-17 season, is worth $19.8 million or $3.3 million per year.

The contract will pay Daley $3.5 million in each of the first four years, $3.1 million in 2015-16, and $2.7 million in 2016-17.

"Trevor is a big part of our team and an important member of our blue line," said Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk. "At 27 years of age, we feel his career is pointing up. We expect him to continue to develop and grow as he takes an even bigger role on our team. We are pleased to have him under contract for another six seasons."

The Stars are controlled by lenders to bankrupt team owner Tom Hicks, and the team is for sale.

Nieuwendyk got the go-ahead from the lenders, and the NHL, to offer a long-term deal to Daley, who could have become an unrestricted free agent after the season.

"The lenders, for sure, and with the league's blessing, they like what we're doing, they like what they see here with us, and gave us the green light to go ahead and negotiate," Nieuwendyk said. "We ask, can we do this? And we get blessings, so we do this. I think this is a good deal for us."

As part of the new contract, the 27-year-old Daley received a no-trade clause for the first two seasons, with limited trade options in the final four years.

Daley has 114 points (28 goals, 86 assists) in 453 career games. This season he has 11 points (2 goals, 9 assists) and a plus-eight rating in 37 games for the Pacific Division leading Stars.

The team has five more potential unrestricted free agents, including top-line center Brad Richards.

Nieuwendyk said re-signing Richards is his next priority, although he knows working out a long-term deal with the team's best player won't be easy.

"I've said all along that I want to sign Brad Richards and we're going to do what we can to make that happen," Nieuwendyk said. "I'm sure it will be a difficult [negotiation]. Brad Richards is in position to be the No. 1 free agent in July. That's not a secret. But he enjoys playing here and we want him to be part of our core."

Mark Stepneski covers the Stars for ESPNDallas.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.