(Tampa Bay Lightning press release) The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent defenseman Randy Jones to a one-year contract today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced.
â€œRandy is a skilled defenseman, capable of playing in all situations on both the right and left side,â€ Yzerman said. â€œHis addition gives us some needed depth on the blue line."
Jones, 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, has played in 265 career NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyers and the Los Angeles Kings. He has amassed 18 goals, three power-play goals, three game-winning goals and 90 points. Last season he played in 48 games with the Kings, recording five goals and 21 points. His five goals tied his career high and he ranked third among Los Angeles defenders in goals, assists and points.
TSN is reporting that the Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed restricted free agent forward Steve Downie to a two-year, $3.7M contract. Last season, Downie had a break-out year tallying 22 goals and adding 24 assists playing mostly on a top line with Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis.
With the Downie signing, the Lightning have just Paul Ranger as the lone unsigned restricted free agent, but his status for returning to hockey after sitting out the 2009-10 season for personal reasons remains questionable. After the recent free agent signings of Dominic Moore and Sean Bergenheim, GM Steve Yzerman's next priority is expected to be getting Rocket Richard trophy winner Steven Stamkos to sign a contract extension. His entry-level contract expires at the end of the 2010-11 season.
TAMPA BAY â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent left wing Sean Bergenheim (BUHR-gehn-highm, SHAWN) to a one-year contract today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced.
â€œWe are happy to add Sean to the Lightning roster today,â€ Yzerman said. â€œHe is a competitive left winger who is also a solid two-way player. We believe he is a good addition to our team.â€
Bergenheim, 5-foot-10, 205 pounds, has registered 40 goals, 80 points and 195 penalty minutes in 246 career NHL games, all with the New York Islanders. He has reached double digits in goals and points in each of the last three seasons. In 2009-10, Bergenheim led the Islanders in game-winning goals with two and tied for eighth on the team with 133 shots on goal. His best offensive season came in 2008-09 when he recorded career-highs in goals with 15, the teamâ€™s third-highest total, and points with 24. He also ranked first on the Islanders in shorthanded goals with four and game-winning goals with five.
UPDATE: The Lightning have confirmed the signing of Simek to a one-year, two-way contract.
Reports surfaced just a few days ago that Simek had been cut from his try-out agreement with Dynamo Riga of the KHL after the team's second exhibition game. At that time, Latvian hockey news outlet icebox.lv was reporting that Simek intended to return to the Norfolk Admirals, the Lightning's AHL affiliate he had been playing for since the Bolts acquired him in 2008 along with Lukas Krajicek for Shane O'Brien and Michel Ouellet.
TAMPA BAY, Fla. â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning have hired Jon Cooper to be the head coach of the American Hockey Leagueâ€™s Norfolk Admirals today, Admirals General Manager Julien BriseBois announced. Cooper joins the Admirals from the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League.
â€œWe are pleased to announce Jon as the head coach of the Admirals today,â€ BriseBois said upon making the announcement. â€œHe has excelled at a championship level in each location he has coached and we are happy he elected to continue his career in the Lightning organization. Jon is a perfect fit as we strive to restore a winning culture for our players and the fans in Norfolk.â€
Cooper, a native of Prince George, British Columbia, has spent the previous two seasons with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL, posting an 84-27-9 record. He also led the Gamblers to two Anderson Cups, awarded to the USHL regular season champions, and one Clark Cup, given to the playoff champions.
â€œI am honored and humbled to be offered this great opportunity with organizations led by first class individuals such as Jeff Vinik, Ken Young, Steve Yzerman, Julien BriseBois and Guy Boucher,â€ Cooper said. â€œWith strong leadership from the ownership level down through both franchises, everyone is working towards making the Lightning and the Admirals an organization to be proud of and Iâ€™m honored that theyâ€™ve asked me to be part of it.â€
During his first season behind the bench in Green Bay, Cooper helped lead the biggest one-year improvement in USHL history after the Gamblers went from 32 points in 2007-08 to 82 points and the USHLâ€™s best record in 2008-09. Cooper was recognized for his efforts following the 2008-09 season, being named the 2009 USHL General Manager of the Year.
Last season Cooper led Green Bay to its second consecutive Anderson Cup as well as the Clark Cup Championship, the teamâ€™s first since 2000. He guided the team to a 45-10-5 record, the best in Gamblersâ€™ 16-year franchise history. Cooper was also awarded the USHL Coach and General Manager of the Year honors.