Syracuse, NY â€“ The Syracuse Crunch have signed right wing Eric Neilson and defenseman Jared Nightingale each to a one-year AHL contract today, Crunch General Manager Julien BriseBois announced.
Neilson, 27, played in 47 games with the Calder Cup Champion Norfolk Admirals, recording one goal and 74 penalty minutes. The Fredericton, NB, native has appeared in 186 AHL games with Peoria, Hamilton, San Antonio and Norfolk, totaling 12 points (6g, 6a) and 560 penalty minutes. Neilson was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the fifth round, 143rd overall, of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Neilson is a three-time IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the year award winner, (Peoria 2008-09, Hamilton 2009-10 and San Antonio 2010-11).
Nightingale, 29, most recently played for the Connecticut Whale collecting 10 points (1g, 9a) and 110 penalty minutes in 67 regular season games during the 2011-12 season. The blueliner has appeared in 264 AHL contests with Connecticut, Hartford, Chicago, Iowa and Springfield and totaled 38 points (11g, 28a) and 619 penalty minutes. A native of Jackson, MI, Nightingale also played four years for Michigan State University where he totaled 23 points (2g, 21a) in 156 career NCAA games.
TAMPA BAY â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent defenseman Matt Carle to a six-year contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced. Carle was also acquired by the Lightning in a trade with San Jose exactly four years ago today.
Carle, 6-foot, 205 pounds, has played in 471 career NHL games with San Jose, Tampa Bay and the Philadelphia Flyers. He has amassed 32 goals, 202 points and 17 power-play goals with a plus-55 rating. Carle has played in 80 games or more in each of the previous three seasons, including all 82 the previous two. He has played in 84 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, recording five goals and 35 points. Carle has played in 45 playoff games during the previous three seasons, all with the Flyers. He was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team during the 2006-07 season while with San Jose after a season in which he registered 11 goals and 42 points.
TSN is reporting that veteran Vancouver Canucks defenseman Sami Salo has signed a two-year, $7.5M contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning. While the Lightning have yet to issue an official press release, Tampa Tribune beat writer Erik Erlendsson tweeted that GM Steve Yzerman confirmed the signing via text message.
The 38-year-old blueliner has size and one of the hardest point shots in the NHL, but chronic injuries have diminished Salo's effectiveness in recent years. For the Bolts, who sported one of the leagues worst power plays last season, Salo could be an important acquisition for the team despite his injury history and limited contribution five-on-five.
Salo has scored 93 goals and added 212 assists spanning 761 career games in the NHL mostly with the Vancouver Canucks organization.
UPDATE: The Lightning made the signing official with an announcement Sunday night.
TAMPA BAY â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman Artem Sergeev to a three-year entry level contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Sergeev, 19, played in 46 games with the Val-dâ€™Or Foreurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season, recording seven goals and 20 points to go along with 46 penalty minutes. He ranked first on the Foreurs defense in power play goals with four and was second in goals. Sergeev also appeared in three playoff games with Val-dâ€™Or, posting nine penalty minutes.
The 6-foot-1, 205 pound defenseman represented Russia at the IIHF World Junior Championships in Calgary, Alberta last year, registering one goal, two points and 12 penalty minutes. He captured the Silver Medal with Russia, losing to Sweden in overtime in the Gold Medal game.
The Moska, Russia native has skated in 110 career games in the QMJHL with the Foreurs, collecting 12 goals and 47 points to go along with 86 penalty minutes. Sergeev has also appeared in seven career postseason games, recording one assist and nine penalty minutes.
TAMPA BAY â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Benoit Pouliot to a one-year, one-way contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today. Pouliot was acquired from the Boston Bruins in exchange for forward Michel Ouellet and their fifth round selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft on June 23.
Pouliot, 25, played in 74 games with the Boston Bruins last season, collecting 16 goals and 32 points to go along with 38 penalty minutes. The Alfred, Ontario native set career highs in goals and points last season. Pouliot ranked third on Boston in game-winning goals with five and eighth in goals and plus/minus (+16). He also skated in seven playoff games with the Bruins, posting a goal and two points.
TAMPA BAY â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed defenseman Evan Oberg to a one-year, two-way contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today. That leaves just goaltenders Anders Lindback and Jaroslav Janus as the team's only remaining unsigned restricted free agents. Recently acquired forward Benoit Pouliot also remains unsigned, but was not qualified by the team and now has unrestricted free agent status. Pouliot is expected to sign with the Lightning amid multiple reports from team and agent indicating that deal would be done.
Oberg, 24, played in three games with the Lightning last season, recording a plus-2 rating. He was acquired by the Lightning with Mike Kostka from the Florida Panthers on December 2 in exchange for James Wright and Mike Vernace. He made his Lightning debut on January 24 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Oberg has skated in seven career NHL games with the Vancouver Canucks and Lightning.
(Tampa Bay Lightning press release) The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed defenseman Keith Aulie to a one-year, two-way contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Aulie, 6-foot-6, 217 pounds, played in 19 games with the Lightning last season, collecting one assist and 13 penalty minutes. He recorded his first point with the Bolts, an assist, on March 29 at New Jersey. Aulie appeared in three regular season games with the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League, notching two assists and six penalty minutes. He won the Calder Cup with the Admirals, skating in 18 playoff games, recording a goal and six points to go along with 10 penalty minutes.
(Lightning press release) The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed defenseman Brian Lee to a two-year, one-way contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Lee, 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, played in 20 games with Tampa Bay after being acquired from the Ottawa Senators on February 26 in exchange for defenseman Matt Gilroy. Following his Bolts debut on February 28 he went on to record eight assists and 17 shots on goal while averaging 17:05 in ice time. In 2011-12, with both the Tampa Bay and Ottawa, he combined for career-highs in games played with 55, assists with 15 and points with 16.
TAMPA BAY â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed defenseman Brendan Mikkelson to a one-year, one-way contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Mikkelson, 25, played in 41 games with the Lightning last season, collecting one goal and three points to go along with 13 penalty minutes. He scored his first career NHL goal on March 17 against the St. Louis Blues. Mikkelson recorded his first points (two assists) with the Lightning on February 16 versus the San Jose Sharks. He was acquired by Tampa Bay from the Calgary Flames on January 6 in exchange for Blair Jones.
The 6-foot-3, 206 pound, defenseman has played in 127 career NHL games with the Lightning, Flames and Anaheim Ducks, recording one goal, eight assists and 53 penalty minutes. Mikkelson made his NHL debut as a member of the Ducks on January 2, 2009 against Philadelphia.
The Tampa Bay Lightning announced today that they had extended qualifying offers to five of their eight pending restricted free agents. Defensemen Keith Aulie, Brian Lee, Brendan Mikkelson, and Evan Oberg along with goaltender Jaroslav Janus received the required offers to guarantee the Bolts retain exclusive rights to these players. It is expected that Tampa will come to terms with contract extensions with these five players sometime during the summer.
Recently required goaltender Anders Lindback received a qualifying offer from the Nashville Predators prior to his trade to the Lightning last week.
Defenseman Sebastien Piche and forward Benoit Pouliot were not tendered qualifying offers, and will be unrestricted free agents on July 1. Pouliot was acquired Saturday from the Boston Bruins during the 2012 NHL Draft, and is expected to sign an extension with the Bolts prior to start of the NHL free agency signing period on Sunday. Pouliot has arbitration rights as a pending restricted free agent, and the Lightning's decision not to qualify Pouliot is speculated as a means to circumvent Pouliot electing player arbitration later this summer.
Piche was acquired from the Detroit Red Wings in the Kyle Quincey/First Round Pick trade. The Red Wings needed a spot in their 50-man roster and Piche was sent to Tampa Bay. He was one of the leaders for the ECHL Florida Everblades as they won the Kelly Cup. The writing was on the wall for Piche's future when the third year pro was not recalled to Norfolk following the conclusion of Florida's season.