Over the last couple of days, the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey club have signed another group of new players to the team for next season. An interview done with Tampa GM Steve Yzerman after these signings had Yzerman telling the press that the Tampa Bay Lightning roster was set, adding “for now” to the end of his statement. Of course, these leaves Bolts fans cringing more so at the thought of losing star-forward Steven Stamkos. “For now”, though, lets look at the latest players signed to the team.
Yzerman has been busy this off-season, seeking as much young blood as possible. Another deal was struck that will help fill out the team’s AHL affiliate the Norfolk Admirals. Center Trevor Smith has been signed to a one-year, two-way contract. Smith has skated in 282 AHL games, earning 192 points in that time. He has played only seven games in the NHL to-date – all of them with the New York Islanders.
Also signed to a two-way contract, but expected to be playing for the Bolts’ as soon as the season begins, was forward Tom Pyatt. Pyatt has both NHL experience (coming from the Montreal Canadiens) and experience with Lightning coach Guy Boucher, who coached him during part of his time in the AHL. He seems most likely to fill the role that Sean Bergenheim had on the third line.
Left winger Alexandre Picard also received his one-year, two-way contract from the Lightning. Picard played in 56 AHL games last season and recorded 46 points and has 207 points amassed in his 309 AHL game career. Picard also has experience in 67 NHL games with Phoenix, after being drafted eighth overall in 2004 by the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Last but not least, free agent Ryan Shannon was signed to a one-year deal. Last season, with the Ottawa Senators, Shannon played 79 games. He achieved career-highs last season in games played, goals, assists, points, plus/minus, power-play goals, short-handed goals, and shots. Shannon was also part of the Stanley Cup-winning Anaheim Ducks. Shannon seems most likely to fill the void left by Simon Gagne, coming of such a personal-best of a season.
There you have it fans. With only the potential to add Steven Stamkos and Teddy Purcell to the mix, this is your roster – “for now.”
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