The Tampa Bay Lightning announced July 1st during the evening hours the acquisition of former Vancouver Canucks defenseman Sami Salo. The 37 year old veteran has played in 761 NHL games, spending time in both Vancouver and Ottawa. Now he moves on to Tampa, hoping to bolster a Lightning defense that struggled to prevent goals this past season. The Finland native has represented Team Finland in each of the last 3 Olympic Games. Salo should bring a heavy right handed shot, adding a different dimension to an already creative Lightning offense. The Bolts win twice with the acquisition of Salo, as he’ll add stability to the defense, along with some offensive upside. Steve Yzerman said about Salo:
Sami will combine with Eric Brewer to give our defense some nice veteran leadership for our younger players. We were able to add him at a contract that fits in nicely for us. We are pleased he chose to join the Lightning. … He is a high character guy that can play in all situations for us. – Steve Yzerman
The Lightning also signed Benoit Pouliot yesterday (July 1st) along with resigning Evan Oberg to a two year contract. Pouliot is expected to play on the second line with Lecavalier. And of course, Evan Oberg can be expected to play in the AHL. Well, he may spend more time on a plane. Hopefully that isn’t the case for Frequent Flier Miles Oberg. Yzerman said of Pouliot:
He’s a big guy who can skate, who has good hands and who is still relatively young. We think he can play among the top nine and really help us, and we still think he has potential to become better. – Steve Yzerman
The stacking of defensive players continues with the signing of 19 year old Russian defenseman Artem Sergeev. Sergeev has played 110 games in the QMJL.
Any rumors of the Lightning pursuing Devils’ goaltender Marty Brodeur can be put to rest. The future hall of famer has resigned with the Devils, and will remain there for two years. The goaltending tandem in New Jersey will remain the same, as the Devils had already resigned Hedberg. The next big signing for the Lightning will probably be Anders Lindback. It seems as though Lindback will be the number one goalie in Tampa Bay this coming season, barring any trades or signings that may still be in the works.