Zubov avoids free agency with three-year deal

Updated: July 31, 2005, 9:16 PM ET
Associated Press

FRISCO, Texas -- Sergei Zubov signed a three-year, $12 million contract with the Dallas Stars on Sunday, one day before the veteran defenseman could've become an unrestricted free agent.

Zubov, 35, has played eight seasons with the Stars, helping them win the Stanley Cup in 1999. Since the 1993-94 season, he ranks third among NHL defensemen in points (575) and is the only active defenseman with nine consecutive 40-point seasons.

"We're extremely pleased and excited that we were able to work out a new contract with Sergei," Dallas general manager Doug Armstrong said. "The new rules of the league make skilled defensemen all the more valuable for your team and he's consistently been one of the best in the NHL."

Mike Modano remained unsigned Sunday and he will become an unrestricted free agent Monday. Modano has been with the Stars since 1988 and is the team's career leader with 458 goals.

Zubov had seven goals and 35 assists in 77 games during the 2003-04 season, the last one before the NHL lockout that ended last week. He ranks second among Stars defensemen in career assists (303) and points (385).

His best offensive season was 1993-94 when he had 12 goals and a career-high 77 assists for the Stanley Cup champion New York Rangers.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press