Beginning the tall task of building a winning team in Norfolk while simultaneously accumulating quality depth, TSN is reporting the Bolts have signed former Chicago Blackhawk and Norfolk Admiral Craig MacDonald, as well as 2006-2007 Worcester Shark Mathieu Darche.
According to the report, the 30-year-old MacDonald spent last season with the Chicago Blackhawks, scoring three goals and picking up two assists in 25 games.
In 160 career regular season games with Carolina, Florida, Boston, Calgary and Chicago, MacDonald has eight goals and 14 assists.
The Mississippi Sea Wolves, the Lightning's new ECHL affiliate, have announced the signing of NCAA Division III star Kyle McCullough out of the University of Massachussetts-Dartmouth. McCullough, a forward, scored 64 goals and 154 points in 111 games during his college career. He becomes the second Mississippi player under contract for the 2007-2008 season along with veteran defenseman Chris Cava who was signed earlier this offseason.
According to TSN, the Lightning has signed former Pittsburgh Penguin and Brad Richards Rimouski Oceanic Michel Ouellet to a two-year deal. TSN is reporting Ouellet will make $1.2 in year one and $1.3 million in year 2. The winger had 19 goals in limited ice time for Pittsburgh last season and was rumored to be not qualified as a restricted free agent because of arbitration concerns.
In other news, defenseman Cory Sarich signed a 5-year, 18 million dollar contract (3.6 per year) with the Calgary Flames. Also, center Eric Perrin signed a 2-year, 1.5 million dollar contract with Atlanta.
Lightning press release on Ouellet:
Damian Crisdotero reports on his blog that Riku Helenius will indeed come to North America this coming season to play for Seattle of the WHL. No mention of a source, but Helenius' move across the pond seems likely now that his Finnish club Ilves has signed veteran netminder Tero Leinonen away from Lulea of the Swedish Elitserien.