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Tampa Bay Extends Jake Dotchin on Two-Year Deal

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed defenseman Jake Dotchin to a two-year, one-way contract worth an AAV of $812,500, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Dotchin, 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, made his NHL debut with the Lightning on January 21 at the Arizona Coyotes last season. He recorded 11 assists with a plus-10 rating in his first NHL campaign. Dotchin was second on the team for plus-minus (Kucherov, plus-13), and ranked fourth among Bolts blue-liners in average ice time with 18:25 per contest.

The Cambridge, Ontario native skated in 35 games with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League prior to joining the Lightning, recording four goals and 13 points. He returned to the Crunch for the post-season and played in 19 games in helping Syracuse to the Calder Cup Finals. He recorded six assists and was a plus-8 during the playoffs.

Dotchin has played in 157 career AHL contests, all with the Crunch since 2014, recording 11 goals and 44 points, including six power-play goals. He has played in 22 Calder Cup Playoff games, in 2017 and in 2015.

The 23-year-old was drafted by Tampa Bay in the sixth round, 161st overall, of the 2012 NHL Draft.

Bolts Re-sign F Matthew Peca to One-Year, Two-Way Contract

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward Matthew Peca to a one-year, two-way contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Peca, 24, played in 10 games with the Lightning last season, recording one goal and two points to go along with two penalty minutes. The Petawawa, Ontario native made his NHL debut against the Montreal Canadiens on December 28, 2016. He notched his first career NHL point with an assist on December 31 against the Carolina Hurricanes and then scored his first career NHL goal the next game on January 3 versus the Winnipeg Jets.

The 5-foot-9, 178-pound forward also appeared in 68 games with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League last season, posting 12 goals and 41 points to go along with 14 penalty minutes. Peca ranked tied for third on the Crunch for power-play goals with five, fourth for assists with 29 and sixth for points. He has skated in 141 career AHL games, all with the Crunch over the past three seasons, posting 21 goals and 88 points. Peca also skated in 22 Calder Cup Playoff games in 2017, registering four goals and 14 points, helping Syracuse to the final.

Peca was originally drafted by the Lightning in the seventh round, 201st overall, at the 2011 NHL Draft

The BoltProspects Podcast, Episode 97

This BoltProspects Podcast, Episode 97 – the Matt Gilroy Edition, contains the following topics:

· The No. 97
· Drouinsanity 3.0
· First round difficulties
· 2017 Draft review
· BP “underrating defensemen” (yes and no)
· “GirarDay” (UFA) review
· So… bottom line… are the Lightning better?

Lightning Give Slater Koekkoek One-Year Extension

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed defenseman Slater Koekkoek to a one-year, one-way contract worth $800,000 today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Koekkoek, 6-foot-2, 193 pounds, played in 29 games with the Lightning in 2016-17, recording four assists. He also skated in 48 contests with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, notching two goals and 13 points. Koekkoek also appeared in 22 Calder Cup Playoff games and registered a goal with seven points as the Crunch reached the finals.

The Winchester, Ontario native has played in 41 career NHL games, all with Tampa Bay, and recorded five assists. He has also skated in 10 Stanley Cup Playoff games and dished out one assist in those contests. Koekkoek has played in 180 career AHL games, all with the Crunch, recording 12 goals and 54 points. He has appeared in 25 career Calder Cup Playoff games and registered a goal and eight points.

Koekkoek, 23, was drafted by the Lightning in the first round, 10th overall, of the 2012 NHL Draft.

Tampa Bay Add Physical Depth Signing Alex Gallant to Two-Way Deal

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent left wing Alex Gallant to a one-year, two-way contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Gallant, 6-foot, 177 pounds, played in 29 games with the San Jose Barracuda last season, recording two assists. He has played in 56 career AHL games, all with San Jose during the previous two seasons, registering a goal and three points. Gallant has also skated in two career Calder Cup Playoff games with the Barracuda.

The Summerside, Prince Edward Island native has also played in 34 ECHL games with the Utah Grizzles and the Orlando Solar Bears from 2014 through 2016, recording a goal and three points.

Gallant originally went undrafted.

Bolts Sign Vet Winger Chris Kunitz to One-Year Deal

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent left wing Chris Kunitz to a one-year contract worth $2 million, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Kunitz, a native of Regina, Saskatchewan, has played in 884 career NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Atlanta Thrashers and Anaheim Ducks, recording 250 goals and 580 points with a plus-183 rating. He won his first Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007 before going on to win three more with Pittsburgh in 2009, 2016 and 2017. Kunitz was also named to the NHL’s First All-Star Team in 2013.

The 6-foot, 195-pound forward has played in 161 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, making him the Lightning’s most experienced playoff performer (Girardi, 122). Kunitz has recorded 27 career postseason goals and 92 points. He has skated in 77 Stanley Cup Playoff games in the previous five seasons.

Kunitz played in 71 games with the Penguins last season, notching nine goals and 29 points. He ranked second on Pittsburgh for hits with 216 while averaging 15:30 in ice time per game. Kuntiz appeared in 20 playoff games, registering two goals and 11 points. He netted the winning goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Ottawa Senators to send the Penguins to their second consecutive Cup Final.

The 14-season veteran was undrafted out of Ferris State University.

Lightning Ink D Jamie McBain to Two-Way Contract

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent defenseman Jamie McBain to a one-year, two-way contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

McBain, 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, played in three games with the Arizona Coyotes last season. He spent the majority of the year with Arizona’s AHL affiliate, the Tucson Roadrunners, recording eight goals and 43 points. He ranked second on the team for assists with 35 and was tied for third for points. McBain also added four power-play goals.

The Edina, Minnesota native has played in 348 career NHL games with the Coyotes, Los Angeles Kings, Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes. He has registered 30 goals and 110 points. McBain also played in four career Stanley Cup Playoff games, all with the Kings during the 2016 playoffs. He has also skated in 150 career AHL games, recording 18 goals and 90 points with seven power-play goals.

McBain was drafted by Carolina in the second round, 33rd overall, of the 2006 NHL Draft.

Bolts Ink Veteran Goalie Michael Leighton to a One-Year Two-Way Contract

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed goaltender Michael Leighton to a one-year, two-way contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Leighton, 36, appeared in four games with the Carolina Hurricanes last season, compiling a record of 2-2-0 to go along with a 3.43 goals-against average and .870 save percentage. The 6-foot-3, 186-pound goaltender has played in 110 career NHL games, posting a record of 37-43-4 with 10 ties, to go along with a 2.98 goals-against average and .900 save percentage. Leighton has also appeared in 16 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, registering a 8-4 record to go along with a 2.54 goals-against average and .912 save percentage. He started for the Flyers during the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, losing to Chicago in six games.

The Petrolia, Ontario native also played in 23 games with the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League during the 2016-17 season, posting a record of 11-7-3 to go along with 2.17 goals-against average and .921 save percentage. Leighton has appeared in 318 career AHL games over 10 seasons, compiling a record of 157-120-32 to go along with a 2.41 goals-against average and .918 save percentage. He’s also played in 16 career Calder Cup Playoff games, posting a record of 7-8 to go along with a 1.79 goals-against average and .947 save percentage.

Leighton was originally selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the sixth round, 165th overall, at the 1999 NHL Draft.

Tampa Bay Signs Dan Girardi to Two-Year Deal

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent defenseman Dan Girardi to a two-year contract worth an average of $3 million, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Girardi, 6-foot-1, 212 pounds, has played in 788 career NHL games, all with the New York Rangers from 2006 through 2017. He has registered 46 goals, 230 points and 13 power-play goals with a plus-54 rating for his career. During the 2010-11 season, Girardi led the entire NHL for blocked shots with 236. He has ranked in the Top 10 in the league for blocked shots during six of the previous eight seasons overall. Girardi ranked fourth in the league for average ice time during the 2011-12 season with 26:14. After serving as interim alternate captain of the Rangers on a few occasions, he was given the honor permanently for the 2014-15 season.

The Welland, Ontario native has skated in 122 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, recording six goals and 33 points with 36 penalty minutes. He played in 25 games in 2014, helping the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Final, notching a goal and seven points. Girardi immediately becomes Tampa Bay’s most experienced playoff performer, ahead of Braydon Coburn who has appeared in 115 Stanley Cup Playoff contests.

Girardi played in 63 games with the Rangers last season, notching four goals and 15 points with a plus-8 rating. He led the team in blocked shots with 166, was fifth for hits with 107 and ranked tied for fifth for game-winning goals with three. Girardi also played in 12 playoff games in 2017, notching two assists.

The 33-year-old was originally undrafted, signing with the Rangers as a free agent.

Lightning Acquire Prospect F Carter Verhaeghe from Islanders

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired forward Carter Verhaeghe from the New York Islanders in exchange for goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Verhaeghe, 21, skated in 45 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League, recording 16 goals and 29 points with 20 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-1, 182-pound forward ranked tied for third on the Sound Tigers for goals and tied for fifth for power-play goals with four. He set career highs for games played, goals, assists, points and power-play goals during the 2016-17 season. Verhaeghe also played in 16 games with the Missouri Mavericks of the ECHL, collecting 12 goals and 32 points.

The Toronto, Ontario native has appeared in 77 career AHL over the past three seasons with the Sound Tigers and Toronto Marlies, collecting 22 goals and 45 points. Verhaeghe played four seasons with the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League prior to turning pro, recording 83 goals and 224 points in 262 career games.

Verhaeghe was originally drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the third round, 82nd overall, at the 2013 NHL Draft.

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