Tampa Bay Lightning

Content regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.

Lightning Extend Brendan Mikkelson

TAMPA BAY – 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.

Lightning Renew Affliation with Everblades

TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning have renewed their affiliation agreement with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL today, assistant general manager Julien BriseBois announced. Florida will continue to serve as the Lightning’s primary ECHL affiliate and they will provide the Everblades with players under both NHL and AHL contracts.

“We are very happy to continue our partnership with the Florida Everblades,” BriseBois said. “The Everblades and their management have a strong track record of providing a winning environment for our prospects to develop in and we look forward to helping them win another Kelly Cup."

Bolts Qualify Five Players Including Four Defensemen

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.

Bolts Acquire Benoit Pouliot from Boston for Pick

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning acquired forward Benoit Pouliot from the Boston Bruins in exchange for forward Michel Ouellet and their fifth round selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Despite not being qualified by Montreal after the 2010-11 season and signed by the Bruins on July 1, 2011 as an unrestricted free agent, Pouliot reverts back to pending restricted free agent status since he doesn't meet the age threshold for permanent unrestricted status. Pouliot does hold arbitration rights should he choose to exercise them this summer.

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