Contract Status

Event tag that describes a prospect being signed, re-signed, or denied a qualifying offer.

Bolts Sign Zenon Konopka

Lindsay Kramer of the the Syracuse Post-Standard is reporting that the Tampa Bay Lightning have inked Syracuse Crunch center and captain Zenon Konopka to a two-year deal. Konopka has spent the last season-and-a-half in the Columbus Blue Jackets organization after being traded by the Anaheim Ducks in January 2007.

Kramer reports that Konopka turned down a lucrative two-year, two-way deal from the Jackets that would have paid him $265k in each of the next two years to play for Syracuse. The Lightning's two-year deal involves a two-way contract for the first year with $100k minor league salary, but a coveted one-way contract for the 2nd year at or just above the league minimum NHL salary of $450k. Konopka finalized his decision after Tampa head coach Barry Melrose convinced him that he would have a better chance of making an NHL squad with the Lightning than with the Blue Jackets.

Lightning Sign Prospect Scott Jackson

Damian Cristodero of the St. Pete Times reports the Tampa Bay Lightning have announced the signing of free agent defensive prospect Scott Jackson to a standard three-year rookie contract.

Niskala Re-Signed to 1 Year Deal

(tampabaylightning.com release)

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman Janne Niskala to a one-year contract, it was announced by owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie. Niskala was acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday in exchange for a sixth-round draft choice in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

“We have targeted Janne for some time and we like his ability to contribute offensively,” said Koules and Barrie upon making the announcement. “He has an upside that will be beneficial to the Lightning and we hope he can make our team and improve us on the blueline.”

Lightning Acquire Rights to Rolston

Michael Russo of the Minnesota Star-Tribune is reporting on his blog that the Lightning have struck a deal to acquire the rights to potential UFA winger Brian Rolston. Rolston, 35, has scored 96 goals over the course of the past three seasons with the Minnesota Wild.

UPDATE
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Wild have traded forward Brian Rolston to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a conditional draft pick. The Wild will get a selection in either the 2009 or 2010 draft. The pick will depend on whether Tampa Bay re-signs Rolston before they know what pick Minnesota will get in the deal. Rolston is due to become a free agent July 1, but by making the move the Lightning get a day of exclusive negotiations with the forward. He scored 31 goals and had 59 points last season. The move caps a busy weekend for the Lightning, who acquired the rights to Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts from Pittsburgh on Saturday. “As we said earlier this week and we are trying to prove after making our deal with Pittsburgh (Saturday), we will work feverishly to improve the Lightning team for the 2008-09 season,” owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie said in a joint statement. “We believe getting the Lightning a head start in the negotiating and signing process can help us secure the players we are targeting. Nothing is guaranteed here, but we hope to have a chance to get another quality player in a Lightning uniform sooner rather than later.”

Boutin, Egener, Others Not Qualified

Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune is reporting that the Tampa Bay Lightning has tendered qualifying offers to restricted free agents Ryan Craig, Justin Fletcher, and Jay Rosehill, thus retaining the club's rights on these players.

Qualifying offers were not tendered to former second round pick Mike Egener, goaltender and former third rounder Jonathan Boutin, Zbynek Hrdel, Marek Kvapil, Ryan Munce, and recently acquired defenseman Mario Scalzo Jr., making them unrestricted free agents. Kvapil and Scalzo, along with Stanislav Lascek, had already signed contracts to play with European teams next season.

For more information, including news of a possible new contract for Vincent Lecavalier and Marc Denis' buyout, click here.

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