Lightning lock up Panik to one-year, two-way deal

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Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman continued a busy Friday of work by signing forward Richard Panik to a one-year, two-way deal. The financial terms of this new contract have not been revealed just yet.

Earlier today, the Bolts inked Brenden Morrow and also re-upped Philippe Paradis.

The most comparable situation is probably with fellow forward Brett Connolly. Both are players who spent time between the NHL and AHL last season and each is on a two-way contract that provides some flexibility (though Raw Charge notes that neither are exempt from waivers).

Panik, 23, scored three goals and 13 points in 50 games with the Lightning in 2013-14. He now has 75 games of NHL experience overall, as he collected nine points in 25 games with Tampa Bay in 2012-13.

He already has one brush with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, as he was suspended two games for boarding Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner.

Looking at the Lightning’s salary structure, it’s clear that there could be some fierce competition for some of the forward spots barring trades that narrow down those races. That’s great for the Lightning, but it could mean a challenging climb to full-time NHL work for the likes of Jonathan Drouin, Panik and Connolly.