TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent forward Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond to a one-year, two-way contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Letourneau-Leblond, 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, played in 52 games with the Albany Devils of the American Hockey League last season, notching a goal and six points. His 131 penalty minutes led the team. Letourneau-Leblond also played in three Calder Cup Playoff games.
The Levis, Quebec native has played in 41 career NHL games with the New Jersey Devils, Calgary Flames and Pittsburgh Penguins, recording three assists and 101 penalty minutes. Letourneau-Leblond has also played in five Stanley Cup Playoff games. He has skated in 448 career AHL games with the Devils, Albany River Rats, Lowell Devils, Abbotsford Heat, Norfolk Admirals and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. He has recorded 26 goals, 65 points and 1,692 penalty minutes. Letourneau-Leblond has played in 14 career Calder Cup Playoff games.
Letourneau-Leblond was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the seventh round, 216th overall, of the 2004 NHL Draft.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent forward Michael Bournival to a one-year, two-way contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Bournival, 5-foot-11, 194 pounds, played in 20 games with the St. John’s IceCaps last season after suffering an injury. He recorded a goal and eight points while in St. John’s.
A native of Shawinigan, Quebec, Bournival has spent his entire professional career in the Montreal Canadiens organization. He has skated in 89 career NHL games with Montreal, notching 10 goals and 19 points. Bournival registered career highs of 60 games played, seven goals and 14 points in 2013-14. He also appeared in 14 Stanley Cup Playoff games that season. Bournival has played in 104 career AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs and St. John’s, netting 16 goals and recording 50 points.
Bournival was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the third round, 71st overall, of the 2010 NHL Draft.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to a three-year contract extension worth $3.5-million per season, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Vasilevskiy, 21, appeared in 24 games with the Lightning last season, posting a record of 11-10-0 to go along with a 2.76 goals-against average and .910 save percentage. The Tyumen, Russia native also posted one shutout in his second season with the Lightning. Vasilevskiy played in eight Stanley Cup playoff games in 2016, registering a record of 3-4 to go along with a 2.76 goals-against average and .925 save percentage. He appeared in all seven of the Lightning’s Eastern Conference Final games against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman Victor Hedman to an eight-year contract extension worth $7.875-milion per season, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Hedman, 25, played in 78 games with the Lightning last season, collecting 10 goals and 47 points to go along with a plus-21 rating and 46 penalty minutes. He led all Lightning defensemen for goals, assists (37), points and plus/minus. Hedman led all Lightning skaters for plus/minus, average time on ice (23:03), takeaways (48) and blocked shots (132). His plus-21 rating was a new career high.
The Ornskoldsvik, Sweden native has skated in 470 career NHL games, all with the Lightning over the past seven seasons, registering 49 goals and 229 points to go along with a plus-30 rating and 384 penalty minutes. He’s led all Tampa Bay defensemen for goals in each of his past three seasons and has finished in the top two among Bolt blueliners for scoring in all seven seasons with the club.
“We are very pleased to announce the signing of Victor Hedman to an eight-year contract extension. Victor has matured into one of the top defensemen in the NHL and coming off the recent re-signing of our captain, Steven Stamkos, we've secured another extremely important member of our team,” Yzerman said upon making the announcement. “I'm very appreciative of both Victor and Peter Wallen's efforts to reach an agreement with us at this time.”
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed captain Steven Stamkos to an eight-year contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Stamkos, 26, played in 77 games with the Lightning last season, recording 36 goals and 64 points to go along with 38 penalty minutes. He ranked first on the Bolts for goals and was second for points. Stamkos also ranked tied for seventh in the NHL for goals and was tied for fourth for power-play goals with 14. He led the team for shots on goal with 216 and led all Lightning forwards for average time on ice (19:45).
“We are very appreciative of the effort and commitment that Steven and his representatives have exhibited in getting a deal done,” Yzerman said upon making the announcement today. “We are excited to have him as a cornerstone part of the team for the next eight years as we continue in the franchise’s ultimate pursuit of winning another Stanley Cup.”
The 6-foot, 192-pound forward has skated in 49 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, recording 15 goals and 35 points to go along with 32 penalty minutes. Stamkos skated in his first game of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins after recovering from blood clot surgery. He ranks fourth all-time on the Lightning’s franchise playoff points list.
“I am excited to move forward with the Lightning today for the next eight years,” said Stamkos. “It’s not often that a player gets the chance to spend his career in one organization and I am hopeful that this agreement sets me on that path with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Most importantly, I look forward to working with my teammates, coaches and our management in our goal of winning a Stanley Cup.”
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have issued qualifying offers to seven players today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
The deadline for NHL clubs to issue offers is today. By issuing qualifying offers to the aforementioned players, the Lightning are given the right of the first refusal or draft choice compensation should the player sign an offer sheet with another NHL club.
Forward David Broll was not issued a qualifying offer and will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2016.
BP Commentary (Chad): Really no huge surprises here. McGinn is a nice depth forward who will continue to help Syracuse. Gourde was not part of the Black Aces last year despite being a call-up earlier in the season, but he was hurt. He's also nice depth, a year removed from leading the Crunch in goals. Nesterov was a no-brainer though he's been passed by Slater Koekkoek, but again, depth. Broll's exit isn't surprising. Boko Imama could take his spot as the Crunch's pugilist, though he doesn't have a contract. Boko can go back to Saint John as an overager, or he could be signed to an AHL deal and have his rights retained, and therefore wouldn't count against the organization's 50-man roster. The guess here is Tampa Bay is in a wait-and-see mode over the summer.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward Cedric Paquette to a two-year, one-way NHL contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Paquette, 22, skated in 56 games with the Lightning last season, recording six goals and 11 points to go along with 51 penalty minutes. His 51 penalty minutes ranked fourth on the Bolts during the regular season. The 6-foot-1, 199-pound forward was one of five Lightning players to notch a shorthanded tally last season. Paquette also appeared in 17 Stanley Cup Playoff games in 2016, posting one assist and 24 penalty minutes. He ranked third on the Bolts during the postseason for penalty minutes.
The Gaspe, Quebec, native has played in 122 career NHL games, all with the Lightning, over the past three seasons, registering 18 goals and 31 points to go along with 102 penalty minutes. Paquette recorded his first and lone career hat trick against the Detroit Red Wings on January 29, 2015 at Amalie Arena.
Paquette was originally drafted by the Lightning in the fourth round, 101st overall, at the 2012 NHL Draft.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward J.T. Brown to a two-year, one-way NHL contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Brown, 25, skated in 78 games with the Lightning during the 2015-16 season, notching eight goals and 22 points to go along with 59 penalty minutes. He ranked tied for third on the Bolts with a plus-16 rating. Brown also set career bests for games played, goals, points, plus/minus and penalty minutes this past season. The 5’10, 175-pound forward played in nine Stanley Cup Playoff games in 2016, notching two assists and two penalty minutes.
The Burnsville, Minnesota, native has appeared in 198 career NHL games, all with the Lightning over four seasons, registering 15 goals and 51 points to go along with 95 penalty minutes. He has also played in 37 playoff games with the Lightning, recording a goal and six points.
Brown was originally signed by the Lightning as a free agent on March 28, 2012.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed defenseman Luke Witkowski to a one-year, two-way contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Witkowski, 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, appeared in four games with the Lightning in 2015-16. He also made his Stanley Cup Playoff debut, skating in two games during the second round against the New York Islanders. Witkowski also played in 70 games with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, recording three goals and 14 points. He ranked third on the team for games played and led all blue-liners for plus/minus with a plus-2 rating.
A native of Holland, Michigan, Witkowski has played in 20 career NHL games, all with the Lightning, during the previous two seasons, registering 19 penalty minutes. He has also amassed 199 career AHL games, all with Syracuse, with seven goals, 34 points and 465 penalty minutes. Witkowski has skated in three career Calder Cup Playoff games, all during the 2015 playoffs, and recorded an assist.
Witkowski was drafted in the sixth round, 160th overall, of the 2008 NHL Draft.