Monday, August 31, 2009

Lightning Add Tanguay

It appears that the Alex Tanguay free agent situation has come to pass, as he's signed a 1-year deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning, which was almost confirmed on Monday after a weekend of speculation. The race for Tanguay was supposedly between the Lightning and the Minnesota Wild, but the Lightning swooped in and ended up with the winning pitch. The deal is believed to be worth $2.5 million, which is even further below my prediction for his new salary.

Tanguay, 29, played in only 50 games for the Canadiens in 2009, scoring 16 goals and adding 25 assists for 41 points. Of course, his value could be quite high if he can play for than 70 games per season and now he's joining a crop of offensive juggernauts in Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis, that the Lightning could jump into being contenders for the Southeast Division title.

The Lightning also re-signed defenseman, Matt Lashoff, to a new 2-year deal on Friday, which has a cap hit of $550,000 per season. Lashoff, 22, played in 28 games for the Lightning, registering 8 assists. He will likely have a hard time cracking the thick Lightning blueline this year, but will be waiting in the wings for his chance.

Salary CapThe Lightning, with all their in-fighting upstairs in management, have managed to pare down the cap number from a season ago, to a very respectable $44.3 million for 19 players (see below). The team still has a few spots to fill and once training camp starts, we'll get to see if we can include Victor Hedman in the discussion for cap space. If he is included, he should have plenty of room to fit in, as the Lightning should be able to use some of their up-and-coming youth to fill some of those forward spots.

Let's also not forget, the LIghtning are carrying $2.2 million in cap space for buyouts this season.

Martin St. LouisMattias OhlundAntero Niittymaki
Vincent LecavalierLukas KrajicekMike Smith
Steven StamkosAndrej Meszaros
Ryan MaloneMatt Walker
Alex TanguayPaul Ranger
Stephane VeilleuxDavid Hale
Jeff HalpernKurtis Foster
Todd Fedoruk

Adam Hall

Ryan Craig

This Lightning team has definitely got a new feel to it, especially with the improved blueline and Antero Niittymaki in net to challenge Mike Smith for the starting role. The potential is growing for a good season in Tampa and the inclusion of Tanguay could mean some good things fantasy-wise for some of their other big name players.

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