Tampa Bay Lightning
Free agent Tanguay signs with Bolts
TAMPA - Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Brian Lawton confirmed Saturday that the team has agreed to terms on a deal with free agent forward Alex Tanguay, pending a physical. Assuming Tanguay shows no health related issues - he missed 30 games last season with a shoulder injury - the one-year deal could be official on Tuesday. Financial terms of the contract were not available, although it is believed to be in the $2.5 million range. "We have agreed to a deal with Alex that we are happy with and Alex is happy with,'' Lawton said the team's Fan Fest held at the St. Pete Times Forum. The addition of Tanguay fills a hole on the top two lines that Lawton had been looking to plug in since the team bought out the contract of Vinny Prospal at the end of July.The team envisions Tanguay, who is considered more of a play-making winger than a natural goal scorer, playing alongside Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier, although he will likely see playing time with Steven Stamkos as well throughout the season. "This is just a great fit for our team, and frankly, we believe it's a good fit for Alex as well,'' Lawton said. Tanguay, 29, was a 2004 All-Star with Colorado and has 193 goals and 580 points in 659 career games during nine seasons with Colorado, Calgary and Montreal. While with the Avalanche, Tanguay played under current Lightning head coach Rick Tocchet, who was an assistant with the Avalanche from 2002-04. Tanguay's best season came in 2006-07 with Calgary when he had 81 points in 81 games. Since breaking in with Colorado as a 20-year-old in 1999, Tanguay has scored 20 or more goals five times and scored at least 60 points five times. Last season with Montreal he had 16 goals and 41 points in 50 games. Lightning RW Marty St. Louis, who did a bit of recruiting on the team's behalf, offering Tanguay some advice on the team and city, said Tanguay is a good addition to the roster. "He is a pretty big-time player with a lot of skill who works hard," St. Louis said of Tanguay. "He makes our hockey team better." GOOD GAME FOR A GOOD CAUSE: Saturday's charity hockey game to benefit the family of fallen Tampa Police Department Cpl. Michael Roberts ended in a 5-5 tie. A crowd of 9,212 watched current Lightning players, alumni and staff join eight members of the TPD hockey team. After the game, players and alumni presented their jerseys to auction winners, with all proceeds going to the Corporal Michael Roberts Memorial Fund. Roberts was killed in the line of duty on Aug. 19. "When you have the chance to be a part of something like this, it feels good," St. Louis said. "I'm a family man myself and to have the opportunity to help a family out is special. This is probably the nicest thing I've ever been a part of." SMOLENAK RETURNING? Tampa Bay is believed to be ready to bring LW Radek Smolenak, who was cut by his Russian team earlier this week, back to North America this season. Smolenak, who made his NHL debut last year, appearing in six games, signed to play in Russia earlier this summer, although the Lightning retained his rights. The team is believed to have an agreement to bring back Smolenak, who has to provide proof of his release before a new deal can be announced.
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