2010 NHL free agency: Tampa Bay re-signs Nate Thompson

natethompson.jpgIf you’ve been keeping a list of all the players eligible for arbitration hearings, (why wouldn’t you be you’re a crazy fan, right?) you can cross off one more name from your list. Damian Cristodero from the St. Petersburg Times spills the details.

The Tampa Bay Lightning avoided arbitration with Nate Thompson by signing the center to a one-year, $625,000 deal.

Thompson, 25, had a goal and four points in 32 games for Tampa Bay after being claimed off waivers in January from the Islanders.

Thompson is a grinder in the most perfect sense of the word. He’ll throw the body around, he’ll drop the gloves, he’ll get into the dirty areas. He’s fun that way. Plug him into the third or fourth line and he’ll do all the rest. One thing he may have to do more of is fight as last year’s super scrapper, Zenon Konopka, is now a member of the Islanders.

As the names come off that arbitration list and potential dates for hearings are squared away, we’ll see how much more interesting things get and if we’ll have any arduous court cases to get the fallout from. The biggest name on that list still waiting to sign, of course, is Chicago’s Antti Niemi.

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    Here are the 10 oldest players to play a game this season

    Jaromir Jagr
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    This isn’t breaking news or anything. We just thought you’d like to know that three of the NHL’s 10 oldest players (who’ve played at least one game this season) are members of the Florida Panthers.

    Oh, and the Panthers’ starting goalie? He’s the oldest starter in the league. (Scroll down.)

    Here’s the list of skaters, topped by 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr:


    Yet another veteran Panther, 36-year-old defenseman Brian Campbell, ranks 17th on the list.

    Granted, the above list does not include 39-year-old Patrik Elias (who’s hurt) or 39-year-old Eric Boulton (who just re-signed with the Isles). As soon as those two play, Thornton will get pushed out of the top 10.

    Now here’s the list of goalies who’ve started at least one game this season, topped by 36-year-old Roberto Luongo:


    For the record, Luongo isn’t the oldest goalie under contract. That would be Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, who’s 37.

    Related: Can Florida’s old guys hang on while the young guys get better?

    Hamburglar (groin) returns, Sens demote O’Connor

    Andrew Hammond
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    Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.

    O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.

    The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.

    He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.

    It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.