The Tampa Bay Lightning signed goalie Anders Lindback to a two-year for $3.9 million. The deal pays him $1.4 million next season and $2.2 million in 2013-14. Lindback who was acquired from the Nashville Predators was a restricted free agent. “It was just a matter of time. I’m really happy with this deal and excited to get going,” said Lindback.
With the signing of Lindback, Tampa Bay’s only remaining Restricted Free Agent is goaltender Jaroslav Janus. Janus is qualified, meaning the Lightning want him and plan to sign him. My best guess that once signed, he will be loaned to an AHL team or play in Europe.
There is now a glut of goalie prospects and the Bolts expect first round pick Andrey Vasilevskiy to play in Russia next season. In my opinion, Lindback and Garon will be the Bolts NHL netminders, Tokarski and Helenius will skate for Syracuse and Nagle will backstop the Everblades.
Tampa Bay also signed former New Jersey Devils defenseman Matt Taormina to a one-year, two-way contract today. The 26-year-old played 30 games with the Devils last season and scored seven points (one goal, six assists). He was undrafted and signed as a free agent with the Devils in 2010. The 5’9″, 190 lbs., Michigan native played in 47 career NHL games with the Devils over two seasons, netting four goals and 12 points with a +4 rating.
Taormina is an organizational depth signing as he will most likely start out in Syracuse. The Bolts defensive core is deep and Brewer, Hedman, Salo, Carle, Lee, Aulie, Mikkelson, Bergeron and possibly Ohlund will skate on NHL ice.
The Bolts have about $8 million in cap space left and are probably done signing free agents. GM Steve Yzerman has fully addressed the team needs at goaltender and on defense.
About the Author: WB Philp is a published hockey writer who has a built in disdain for Barry Melrose. He covered the Detroit sports teams for many years until he came to his senses and moved to the Sunshine State. He is a true puckhead on a mission from God (Gordie Howe) to make hockey relevant in the south. He lives in Hockey Bay USA and covers the Lightning full time. Did I mention he hates Barry Melrose?