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Dion Phaneuf (3) signed a six-year extension worth $39 million US. ((Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press))

The Calgary Flames locked up one of their cornerstone players Wednesday, signing defenceman Dion Phaneuf to a six-year contract extension.

Financial terms were not announced, but it's believed the total value of the deal is worth $39 million US.

"I'm excited about the prospect of playing another six years in Calgary," said Phaneuf. "In fact, I never thought I would be playing anywhere else. I am proud to be a member of this organization and will continue to concentrate on the job at hand — making and advancing in the playoffs this year and for years to come."

Phaneuf, 22, is in the final season of his entry-level contract and is earning just over $940,000. He will earn an average of $6.5 million per season during his new deal.

The third-year defenceman has 35 points in 53 games this season and was voted to the Western Conference's starting lineup for last month's NHL all-star game in Atlanta.

Phaneuf, a native of Edmonton, joins captain Jarome Iginla, goalie Miikka Kiprusoff and defenceman Robyn Regehr to have signed long-term deals with the Flames.

"It remains very important for us to lock up our key young players," said Flames general manager Daryl Sutter. "Our goal with Dion was to provide an arrangement that will allow him to take his game to the next level."

Calgary's first-round pick (ninth overall) in the 2003 NHL draft, Phaneuf is considered one of the best young blue-liners in the NHL, noted for his physical style of play and ability to move the puck up the ice quickly.

He's also a tireless workhorse, averaging close to 27 minutes of ice time per game.

With files from the Canadian Press