TAMPA BAY â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed defenseman Evan Oberg to a one-year, two-way contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today. That leaves just goaltenders Anders Lindback and Jaroslav Janus as the team's only remaining unsigned restricted free agents. Recently acquired forward Benoit Pouliot also remains unsigned, but was not qualified by the team and now has unrestricted free agent status. Pouliot is expected to sign with the Lightning amid multiple reports from team and agent indicating that deal would be done.
Oberg, 24, played in three games with the Lightning last season, recording a plus-2 rating. He was acquired by the Lightning with Mike Kostka from the Florida Panthers on December 2 in exchange for James Wright and Mike Vernace. He made his Lightning debut on January 24 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Oberg has skated in seven career NHL games with the Vancouver Canucks and Lightning.
(Tampa Bay Lightning press release) The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed defenseman Keith Aulie to a one-year, two-way contract, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Aulie, 6-foot-6, 217 pounds, played in 19 games with the Lightning last season, collecting one assist and 13 penalty minutes. He recorded his first point with the Bolts, an assist, on March 29 at New Jersey. Aulie appeared in three regular season games with the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League, notching two assists and six penalty minutes. He won the Calder Cup with the Admirals, skating in 18 playoff games, recording a goal and six points to go along with 10 penalty minutes.
(Lightning press release) The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed defenseman Brian Lee to a two-year, one-way contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Lee, 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, played in 20 games with Tampa Bay after being acquired from the Ottawa Senators on February 26 in exchange for defenseman Matt Gilroy. Following his Bolts debut on February 28 he went on to record eight assists and 17 shots on goal while averaging 17:05 in ice time. In 2011-12, with both the Tampa Bay and Ottawa, he combined for career-highs in games played with 55, assists with 15 and points with 16.
TAMPA BAY â€“ 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.
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.