Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Lightning Add Clark

The Tampa Bay Lightning added another defenseman to their ranks on Monday, as they signed Brett Clark to a new 2-year deal worth $3 million in total, a $1.5 million cap hit in each year. The long time Colorado Avalanche blueliner hit unrestricted free agency and obviously was not a target for his former team after five days on the market or the time leading up to his free agency, so the Lightning did well to scoop up the 33-year old defenseman.

In 2010, Clark played in 64 games for the Avalanche, scoring 3 goals and adding 17 assists, ranking him 95th among all defensemen in scoring.  Clark isn't a very big defenseman in the league, but does skate well and distribute the puck to make up for his size.  These could be beneficial attributes to the Lightning, who are currently rebuilding their line-up.

Steven StamkosPavel KubinaDan Ellis
Martin St. LouisVictor HedmanMike Smith
Vincent LecavalierBrett Clark
Ryan MaloneMattias Ohlund
Matt Walker

Salary CapThe Lightning have a couple buyouts on the books, including a massive buyout to Vaclav Prospal, which still has another five seasons on it, not to mention the Todd Fedoruk buyout from this Summer, which has two seasons on it.  Combine those with the 11 guys on the roster, the Lightning have a 2011 cap hit of $40.7 million on the books right now.  I'm not sure if the Lightning have the okay to go right up to the ceiling, but I would have to think it would be close with the new ownership giving a long leash to new management.

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