When Steve Yzerman acquired Anders Lindback to stabilize Tampa’s goaltending, all that remained was getting the Finnish netminder signed.
On Friday, mission accomplished.
The Lightning announced they’ve agreed to terms with the 24-year-old ‘tender on a two-year deal worth $3.6 million. Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times reports the contract pays $1.4 million in 2011-12 and $2.2 million in 2013-14 for an average annual cap hit of $1.8 million.
A restricted free agent, Lindback had received his qualifying offer from Nashville prior to be acquired by the Bolts.
The deal serves as confirmation that Lindback will be Tampa Bay’s No. 1 heading into next season. While his body of work is relatively small — just 38 appearances over two NHL seasons — he’ll head into 2012-13 ahead of Mathieu Garon, Riku Helenius and Dustin Tokarski on the depth chart.
No surprise, then, that Yzerman bolstered his blueline this offseason, in the event Lindback struggles with his first bite at a starting gig.
Tampa’s new-look defense will feature the likes of Matt Carle, Victor Hedman, Eric Brewer, Sami Salo, Brian Lee, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Brendan Mikkelson and Matt Taormina (it’s safe to assume Mattias Ohlund will either retire or end up on long-term injured reserve.)
It’s possible youngsters Keith Aulie and Evan Oberg could be in the defensive mix as well.