Reports have been emerging the last 12 hours or so that the Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent depth forward Trevor Smith to a one-year, two-way league-minimum contract. Club officials have confirmed that a contract has not been signed, but indicators point that an official announcement may be near.
[ed. Lightning confirmed the free agent signing on 7/5/2011]
Smith, an undrafted winger out of the University of New Hampshire, was signed as a free agent in 2007 by the New Islanders and spent three productive seasons mainly with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. During the 2008-09 season, Smith scored his first and only NHL goal for the Islanders during a 7 games stint in New York. In 2010, the Anaheim Ducks signed Smith as a free agent and spent half the season playing for the AHL Syracuse Crunch before being acquired on January 4th by the Colubus Blue Jackets organization and finishing the season for the AHL Springfield Falcons.
In 292 career AHL games, Smith has tallied 92 goals and added 100 assists. If signed by the Bolts, Smith would project to provide the Norfolk Admirals with top-line veteran forward talent, and provide a depth call-up option for the Lightning.
TAMPA BAY â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent defenseman Richard Petiot (PEH-tee-awt, RIH-chuhrd) to a one-year, two-way contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Petiot, 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, appeared in 66 games with the Oklahoma City Barons last season, recording 15 assists. He was tied for the team lead with a plus-14 rating and tied for fifth among defensemen for assists. Petiot is a veteran of 308 AHL games with Manchester, Toronto, Norfolk, Rockford and Oklahoma City, registering 18 goals and 89 points. He has also skated in 19 career Calder Cup Playoff games, including six with the Barons last season, recording one goal.
TAMPA BAY â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent defenseman Matt Gilroy to a one-year contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Gilroy, 6-foot-1, 201 pounds, played in 58 games with the New York Rangers last season, recording three goals and 11 points with one game-winning goal. He also had a career-best plus-5 rating in just his second NHL season. Gilroy also made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut in 2011, recording his first career NHL playoff goal in his first game, April 13 against Washington.
A native of North Bellmore, New York, Gilroy has played in 127 career NHL games with the Rangers, recording four goals and 15 points. In 2009-10, his rookie season, he notched career highs with four goals and 11 assists in 69 games. That season he tied for sixth in the NHL among rookie defensemen in goals, seventh in blocked shots (77) and ninth in points.
TAMPA BAY â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent right wing J.T. Wyman (WIGH-muhn) to a one-year, two-way contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Wyman, 6-foot-2, 199 pounds, played in 80 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League last season, recording 18 goals and 36 points. He was fourth on the Bulldogs for goals and fifth for points. He set career highs for goals and penalty minutes with 36. Wyman has played in 216 career AHL games, all with Hamilton, recording 41 goals and 85 points. He has also skated in 45 career Calder Cup Playoff games, notching four goals and 13 points. Wyman has played in three career NHL games, all with the Montreal Canadiens.
TAMPA, Fla. â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL parent club of the Norfolk Admirals, have signed free agent right wing Michel Ouellet (wuh-LEHT) to a one-year, two-way contract today, Lightning vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced. The forward also played for the Lightning during the 2007-08 season.
Ouellet, 6-foot, 203 pounds, has spent the previous two seasons in Europe. Last year he played in 39 games for the Hamburg Freezers of the German Elite League, notching 11 goals and 28 points. He ranked fourth on the team in points and was also tied for third for assists and fourth for goals. In 2009-10, Ouellet skated for Fribourg-Gotteron of the Swiss Elite League, recording a goal and five points in 11 games.
A native of Rimouski, Quebec, Ouellet has played in 190 career NHL games with the Lightning, Pittsburgh Penguins and Vancouver Canucks. During that time he has amassed 52 goals, 27 power-play goals and 116 points. Ouellet played in 64 games with Tampa Bay during the 2007-08 season, registering 17 goals and 36 points, both the second-highest totals of his career. That season he led the Bolts in plus/minus rating with a plus-11 and was fourth in goals. Ouellet has played in five Stanley Cup Playoff games, all with Pittsburgh in 2007, notching two assists. Ouellet was originally drafted by the Penguins in the fourth round (124th overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.
TAMPA BAY â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed right wing Brett Connolly to a standard three-year, entry-level contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Connolly, 6-foot-2, 181 pounds, spent last season with the Prince George Cougars of the Western Hockey League, recording 46 goals, 27 assists and 73 points in 59 games played. He set WHL career-highs for goals and points while also ranking third among all WHL goal-scorers. His 15 power-play goals ranked 12th.
A native of Campbell River, British Colombia, Connolly has spent each of the past four seasons with Prince George of the WHL. Throughout his career he has amassed 86 goals and 152 points in 144 WHL games. He has also appeared in five career postseason games, registering two points.
TAMPA BAY â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent goaltender Mathieu Garon (gah-ROHN, MA-tyew) to a two-year contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Garon, 6-foot-1, 206 pounds, played in 36 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets last season, posting a 10-14-6 record with a 2.72 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage. He also recorded three shutouts. Garon led the Blue Jackets in goals-against average and was tied for the lead in save-percentage and shutouts. His three shutouts were the second-highest of his career.
A native of Chandler, Quebec, Garon has appeared in 275 NHL games with the Blue Jackets, Pittsburgh Penguins, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings and Montreal Canadiens. He has posted a 116-106-25 career record with a .904 save percentage and 2.82 goals against average. Garon has posted double-digit wins in each of the previous two seasons with a save percentage above .900 as well as a goals-against average below 3.00 in each of the previous three. He has played in two Stanley Cup Playoff games, both in relief roles.
TAMPA BAY â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed center Adam Hall to a one-year, one-way contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
"We are pleased to have Adam return to the Lightning for another season,â€ Yzerman said. â€œHis outstanding work ethic and leadership were, and will continue to be, very important to us."
Hall, 6-foot-3, 213 pounds, played in all 82 games with the Lightning last season, recording seven goals and 18 points. He led the Lightning in face-off percentage with 55 percent and ranked fourth overall with 360 face-offs won. Hall also led the team with 152 hits and was third among forwards with 59 blocked shots. He was Tampa Bayâ€™s nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy after battling his way back to the NHL in 2010-11. He was one of four Bolts to play in all 82 games. The 30-year-old veteran also played in all 18 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Lightning as they made it to within one game of the Stanley Cup Final. He recorded a goal and five points during the postseason.
No official confirmation from the Lightning organization has yet been issued, but GM Steve Yzerman signed Bergeron on January 4, 2011 following a lengthy rehabilitation of injury suffered at the end of the 2009-10 season. After a month-long conditioning assignment in the AHL, Bergeron was recalled to the Lightning for the final six weeks of the season and the post-season. In 23 regular season games, Bergeron scored 2 goals and added 6 assist before tallying 2 goals and 3 points in 14 playoff games.
TAMPA BAY â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed restricted free agent defenseman Bruno Gervais (ZHUR-vay, BROO-noh) to a one-year, one-way contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Gervais, 6-1, 200 pounds, appeared in 53 games with the New York Islanders last season, recording six assists and averaging 15:40 in ice time per game. He has played in 331 career NHL games, all with the Islanders. During that time he amassed nine goals and 68 points with two power-play goals and two game-winners. Gervais also played in five playoff games while with the Islanders during the 2007 playoffs, recording a goal and two points.