The Coyotes signed Teppo Numminen to a $13.5 million contract extension yesterday, ensuring they will retain the services of the all-star defenseman through the 2002-2003 season.

The package includes an option year that could be worth another $6 million to the team's highest-scoring defenseman.

Numminen, whose current $2.25 million salary was doubled in the first year of his new contract, would have become an unrestricted free agent in July.

The 31-year-old native of Finland has three goals and 13 assists this season and holds franchise records for assists (330) and points (499) by a defenseman. He has scored 11 goals in a season three times and had career highs in assists (43) and points (54) in 1995-96.

BARRASSO SUSPENDED: Penguins G Tom Barrasso was suspended four games for a slash that left Maple Leafs C Yanic Perrault with a broken left arm. Barrasso, who wasn't penalized on the play during the second period of Saturday's 3-2 Toronto win, will forfeit more than $61,000, based on his $2.7 million salary.

Perrault will be out for six to eight weeks after undergoing surgery to insert nine screws and a plate in his left forearm.

A HELPING HAND?: Canada is considering sports lottery licensing fees to raise money for Canadian NHL teams hobbled by high taxes and a weak dollar, according to a published report in the Calgary Sun. Under the plan, provinces would pay a licensing fee to teams that are being betted on in sports lotteries.