Tag: Sami Salo

Tampa Bay Lightning v Montreal Canadiens - Game Four

Lightning re-sign Sustr, have a really deep defense


The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed defenseman Andrej Sustr to a one-year, one-way contract.

Sustr had one goal and seven assists in 43 games last season for Tampa Bay. With the 23-year-old under contract, the Lightning now have eight active blue-liners (plus inactive Mattias Ohlund) on one-way deals.

As it stands, Sustr and 24-year-old Mark Barberio are at the bottom of a deep defensive depth chart that already featured Victor Hedman, Matt Carle, Radko Gudas, and Eric Brewer before the acquisitions of Jason Garrison in a trade with Vancouver and Anton Stralman in free agency.

Sami Salo will not be back with the Lightning. The 39-year-old is an unrestricted free agent.

Red Wings, Canucks, Preds fail to address needs in Day 1 of free agency

Colorado Avalanche v Detroit Red Wings

Did we jinx them? Because…

Here’s where we wrote on Monday about Red Wings general manager Ken Holland needing to add a right-shooting defenseman.

And here’s where we wrote about Canucks general manager Jim Benning needing to add a top-six forward.

And here’s where we wrote about Predators general manager David Poile needing to add a center to play with James Neal.

Yesterday, each GM struck out. And today, their options are severely limited.

Does Detroit make a push to get Tyler Myers out of Buffalo? There were rumors of that around the draft. Myers wouldn’t come cheap though; nor would he come without significant risk, given his uneven play with the Sabres. What else could Holland do? Well, when Matt Niskanen signed with Washington, we hypothesized he could call the Caps about Mike Green, but then Brian MacLellan said Green is still in his team’s plans.

“Still lots of players out there that could be good one-year bargains,” Holland said, per MLive. “I was hoping to get a right-shot defenseman or two. They signed elsewhere, that’s their prerogative.”

One UFA name we’ll throw out there: Sami Salo. He’s 39 and has always been injury-prone, but he’s still got a booming point shot and can make a good first pass.

Meanwhile, does Vancouver consider signing Radim Vrbata, i.e. the only 20-goal scorer that wasn’t picked up yesterday? Benning said late Tuesday the Canucks had thought about it, but at the same time didn’t sound too excited about it. Benning failed to convince Jarome Iginla to come to Vancouver.

Does Nashville consider signing Mikhail Grabovski? The 30-year-old is arguably the top center still available in free agency. So…yeah.

Report: Lightning pondering trade for Boyle’s rights

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game Five

From the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch:

Boyle, of course, will not be back with San Jose next season. The Sharks made the decision to cut ties with the 37-year-old defenseman, despite his preference to stay with the club.

Tampa Bay could make sense for Boyle if the Lightning decide to cut their own ties with a veteran right-handed blue-liner — 39-year-old Sami Salo, who’s a pending unrestricted free agent.

Why might the Lightning be willing to give up an asset to acquire Boyle’s negotiating rights before July 1? Read this to find out.

Boyle won a Stanley Cup as a member of the Lightning in 2004. He was traded to San Jose in 2008.


It’s a good time to be a right-shooting d-man free agent

Pittsburgh Penguins v Columbus Blue Jackets - Game Four

So I was thinking something watching the Rangers’ power play last night…

No, it wasn’t, “Boy, that does not look like a very confident power play.” Though it definitely didn’t.

It was this: If you’re a right-handed shooting defenseman that can play a regular number of five-on-five minutes and help a team’s power play, you’re going to be a hot commodity this summer.

Because the Rangers — with all due respect to Dan Girardi, Anton Stralman, Kevin Klein, and Raphael Diaz — don’t really have one of those double threats. Or, at the very least, they don’t have one that’s doing a very good job of it at the moment.

And the Rangers aren’t alone. The Red Wings made no secret that they’re in the market for “a top-four right-handed shooting defenseman.” Detroit’s power play hasn’t been the same since Brian Rafalski retired.

The Vancouver Canucks, meanwhile, were forced to dress seven defensemen on occasion this season, just so power-play specialist Yannick Weber could be available. Vancouver’s power play hasn’t been the same since Sami Salo took his booming shot to Tampa Bay. (And similarly, since right-handed shooter Mikael Samuelsson was traded.)

Read this post on the Phoenix Coyotes for more on the importance of right-handed shooters to teams’ power plays.

Then, after you read that, read MLive’s list of players the Wings could target this offseason, whether in free agency or a trade. Safe to say, Matt Niskanen is going to get PAID.

Finally, just in case you’re not sold yet, here are the top 10 d-men in terms of power-play points during the regular season. Notice anything about seven of them?


Video: Stamkos scores with spin-o-rama shootout move

Vancouver Canucks v Tampa Bay Lightning

Steven Stamkos had to wait until the seventh round of the shootout, before unleashing a sweet spin-o-rama move and scoring in the skills competition.

The Tampa Bay Lightning captain sped in, threw on the breaks, spun around and went to the backhand for the goal on New York Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov. The Lightning went on to win by a final score of 3-2, although the shootout wasn’t decided until Sami Salo scored in the 13th round.