Riga and Karsums have been locked in negotiations for much of the summer after Karsums finished the 2009-10 season with Riga, going 4-4-8 in 12 regular season games and 2-1-3 in 9 KHL playoff games. Karsums was loaned to Riga by the Lightning on January 17, 2010 and subsequently represented Team Latvia in the World Championships, scoring 3 goals and an assist in 6 WC games.
The 5'10" and 198 lb winger was expected to formally sign with Riga this season after spending the bulk of last season playing for the Lightning's AHL affiliate in Norfolk. Karsums finished up the 2008-09 season with Tampa after being acquired at the 2009 trade deadline from the Boston Bruins along with Matt Lashoff for Mark Recchi, and seemed poised to earn a regular NHL roster spot for 2009-10 season.
Riga is also reporting that they have signed longtime NHL goaltender Manny Legace, and have previously signed Lightning prospect forward Juraj Simek to a training camp try-out agreement.
According to capgeek.com, the Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed prospect forward Blair Jones to a 1 year, two-way contract. The numbers on the contract indicate that Jones may have accepted his qualifying offer, as the contract is identical to his 2009-10 deal with the exception of the mandatory 10% raise for RFA's making less than $1M.
Jones is entering his 5th year as a pro, and with Lightning GM Steve Yzerman publicly stating a main focus to revamp the Lightning bottom two lines, Jones' fierce forechecking style may very well earn him a roster spot out of camp. The 6'3" and 215 lbs forward was a 4th round pick by the Bolts in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, and has been on the cusp of earning an NHL roster spot for the last two seasons.
(Tampa Bay Lightning Release) The Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed defenseman Mike Lundin and right wing Ted Purcell to one-year contracts today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Lundin, 6-foot-2, 197 pounds, has played in 155 career games with the Lightning, recording three goals and 21 points. He made the Lightning directly out of college at the University of Maine in 2007-08 and went on to represent Tampa Bay in the 2008 NHL YoungStars Game in Dallas. That season he led all Lightning defensemen, second overall on the team, in plus-minus rating with a plus-3.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman Brett Clark to a two-year contract today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced. The organization also confirmed that restricted free agent forward Nate Thompson has elected to file for salary arbitration. His hearing date has not yet been scheduled by the league, but forwards Ted Purcell and Paul Szczechura along with defenseman Mike Lundin elected to waive their rights to arbitration.
"In Brett Clark, we are adding an experienced, intelligent defenseman who plays the game efficiently," Yzerman said. "He'll not only help steady and stabilize our defense, we expect him to help mentor our younger defensemen as they grow and develop. We are pleased he elected to join the Lightning today."
Clark, 6-foot, 195 pounds, has played in 517 career NHL games with the Colorado Avalanche, Atlanta Thrashers and Montreal Canadiens. He has amassed 34 goals and 139 points with 11 power play goals. Clark has had a even rating or higher in five of the previous six seasons and averaged more than 20 minutes in ice time per game in three of the previous four. He led the NHL in shifts per game during the 2007-08 season.
Swedish media outlet Aftonbladet is reporting that the Tampa Bay Lightning have signed big Swedish forward Niklas Persson to a one-year, two-way contract on Friday. For the undrafted 31 year-old late bloomer, the signing marks the realization of a childhood dream to have a shot to play in the NHL.
Persson played last season for Nizhnekamsk Neftekhimik in the KHL, and three seasons for Linkoping before his KHL tour. During that four year span, the 6'02", 205 lbs forward, tallied 59 goals and 84 assists in 219 games. Persson won bronze medals with Team Sweden in both the 2009 and 2010 World Championships along with the Elitserian SM silver medal in 2007 and 2008 with Linkoping.
Persson told Aftonbladet, "I go over to take a place in the NHL. That is where I want to play, absolutely. I have written a two-way contract, and there is certainly a way out if I need it, but I have no other thoughts than to play in the NHL. At worst, I may play in the AHL and show that I'll have a chance. I will not leave home without an honest attempt."
"It's a childhood dream come true."
TAMPA BAY, Fla. â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Mitch Fritz to a one-year, two-way contract, Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Fritz, a 6-foot-7, 242-pound forward from Osoyoos, British Columbia, appeared in 73 games with the Admirals last season, scoring two goals and six points with a team-leading 157 penalty minutes.
The Tampa Bay Lightning signed right wing Martin St. Louis to a four-year contract extension today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced. The contract locks up St. Louis through the 2014-15 season.
â€œToday is a great day for the Lightning organization,â€ Yzerman said. â€œMarty means so much to this franchise, both on and off the ice. His hard work and dedication are unsurpassed and we are thrilled that he will finish his career here in Tampa Bay.â€
St. Louis, 5-foot-9, 177 pounds, is the Lightningâ€™s all-time leader in shorthanded goals with 28. He is also second on the franchise list for games played with 703, goals with 263, assists with 396, points with 659, power-play goals with 76 as well as game-winning goals with 47. St. Louis is also the franchise leader in playoff goals with 23, points with 48, overtime game-winners with three and plus/minus with a plus-18. He is tied for the Tampa Bay all-time playoff lead for games played with 45 and game-winning goals with seven.
"Since coming to Tampa in 2000, the goals for my playing career have evolved," said St. Louis. "I have now enjoyed many team and personal accolades, the highlight being our 2004 Stanley Cup win.
"Now the goal is to lead the Lightning back towards the top of the NHL while finishing my career here. My family and I would like to thank Steve and Mr. Vinik for giving us that opportunity. I will not let them or our fans in Tampa Bay down. We'll do everything we can as a team to achieve at the highest levels again."
The Tampa Bay Lightning have bought out the contract of left wing Todd Fedoruk, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced. Fedoruk had one year remaining on his contract.
â€œOn behalf of the entire Lightning organization, I would like to thank Todd for his service both on and off the ice,â€ Yzerman said. â€œAs the team heads in a different direction, we wish him the best of luck as he moves forward in his hockey career.â€
The Lightning have 10 forwards under contract for the 2010-11 season heading into Thursday's opening day of free agency: Martin St. Louis, Ryan Malone, Steven Stamkos, Vincent Lecavalier, Dana Tyrell, Carter Ashton, James Wright, Adam Hall, Johan Harju, and Mitch Fadden.
Damian Crisdotero is reporting that Karri Ramo's agent, Mark Gandler, has announced his client will stay with Avangard Omsk of the KHL next season. Ramo is entering the second and final year of his deal with the Russian club. He was the starting goaltender for Team Jagr at the KHL All-Star Game last season.
Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune is reporting that Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has announced the team has sent qualifying offers to 10 restricted free agent prospects. Those prospects whose rights were retained by the Bolts include forwards Blair Jones, Juraj Simek, Martins Karsums, Nate Thompson, Paul Szczechura, Steve Downie, and Teddy Purcell, along with defensemen Mike Lundin, Paul Ranger, and Vladimir Mihalik.
For Simek, Szczechura, and Mihalik this represents their first qualifying offers as their entry level contracts have expired.