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Alex Goligoski, Coyotes agree to 5-year deal

New York Rangers center J.T. Miller (10) skates with the puck against Dallas Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski (33) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The Arizona Coyotes have agreed to a five-year contract with Alex Goligoski that will pay the defenseman nearly $5.5 million annually, .

The Coyotes acquired the negotiating rights to Goligoski less than a week ago in a trade that shipped their fifth-round pick (128th overall) to the Dallas Stars.

John Chayka’s first trade since becoming general manager allowed Arizona to exclusively discuss contract terms with the 30-year-old, who scored 37 points in 82 games with Dallas last season.

“We are thrilled to sign Alex to a long term contract,” Chayka said in a statement released by the team. “Alex is a great skater and a smart, efficient defenseman who moves the puck well and makes his teammates better. He will help solidify our defense and support the growth of our young players. He will be a great addition to our team and we welcome him and his wife Amanda to the pack.”

It appears the Coyotes took advantage of the window that closes June 25, when other NHL teams would have been able to talk with the unrestricted free agent.

“I am very happy to join the Coyotes,” Goligoski said. “Arizona is a great place to live and play and I’m excited to join an up and coming team that has a ton of talent and a very bright future.”

The Minnesota native was a second-round pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2004 and he broke into the NHL four years later. The Penguins traded the blueliner to Dallas in February of 2011. With the Stars, Goligoski became a stalwart, averaging 34.4 points per season. He has also blocked 150 or more shots in each of the last three seasons, making him one of only four NHL players to accomplish that feat.

In 562 career NHL games, Goligoski has registered 55-222-277 with 200 penalty minutes and 880 blocked shots while averaging 22:37 of ice time.

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