Devils re-sign Elias to seven-year, $42 million deal

Updated: July 2, 2006, 7:01 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Devils forward Patrik Elias has decided to remain in New Jersey, agreeing to a new multiyear contract.

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38 16 29 45 11 20

"We're delighted Patrik has made the decision to stay in New Jersey," Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said Sunday.

Lamoriello would not discuss the terms of the contract, but ESPN The Magazine's E.J. Hradek reported Saturday the deal was for seven years and $42 million. The Associated Press reports that Elias will earn $7.5 million in each of his first two seasons, $6 million in the third and four years and $5 million in each of the final three seasons.

Elias was not available for comment. Two telephone calls to Allan Walsh, his agent, were not returned.

The deal capped a good opening weekend of free agency for the Atlantic Division champion Devils, who Saturday retained another core player by re-signing right wing Jamie Langenbrunner to a five-year contract for about $14 million.

Elias, 30, was believed to be looking for a contract that would pay him this year's league maximum of $8.8 million a season, or 20 percent of the $44 million salary cap.

Elias, an unrestricted free agent, had 16 goals and 29 assists in 38 games. He missed the first half of the season while recovering from hepatitis, which he contracted while playing in Russia during the lockout season of 2004-05.

The signing of Langenbrunner pushed the Devils' salary commitments to about $39 million. That meant Lamoriello probably had to use a clause in the labor agreement that allowed him to exceed the cap by 10 percent during the free agency signing period.

The Devils will have to be at the cap number by the start of the regular season. New Jersey was in a similar situation this past season before trading left wing Jeff Friesen and his $2.28 million salary to Washington for a conditional draft pick.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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