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.
â€œWe have targeted Janne for some time and we like his ability to contribute offensively,â€ said Koules and Barrie upon making the announcement. â€œHe has an upside that will be beneficial to the Lightning and we hope he can make our team and improve us on the blueline.â€
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.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
ST. PAUL, Minn. â€” 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. â€œAs 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,â€ owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie said in a joint statement. â€œWe 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.â€
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.
Damian Crisdotero of the St. Pete Times is reporting on his blog that Lightning Player Personnel Director Bill Barber has resigned. Barber vacates the role after six years with the club.
Shoes keep dropping.
The Springfield Republican is reporting that former Lightning defenseman and Norfolk Admirals assistant coach Darren Rumble will be named the head coach of the Norfolk Admirals this week. Rumble had been told earlier this summer his contract with the Lightning would not be renewed, but after an interview in Los Angeles with new owner Oren Koules it appears Rumble is now the front runner to become Norfolk's new bench boss.