Tampa Bay Lightning
Lightning re-sign Mihalik, add two more players
TAMPA - The Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed defenseman Vladimir Mihalik and signed free agent blue-liners Mathieu Roy and Mike Vernace to one-year, two-way contracts Thursday, general manager Steve Yzerman announced. Mihalik, 6-foot-7, 244 pounds, played in 75 games with the Norfolk Admirals last season, recording two goals and 18 points. He ranked third among Admirals defensemen for points and was tied for fourth overall with a plus-6 rating. Mihalik also played in four games with Tampa Bay. Mihalik has played in 15 career NHL games, all with the Lightning, recording three assists. Mihalik was drafted by the Lightning in the first round, 30th overall, in the 2005 draft. Roy (6-2, 215) spent last season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, skating in a career-high 31 games and notching a career-best 10 assists. Roy has played in 61 career NHL games, with two goals and 13 points.Vernace (6-2, 210) split last season between Chicago and Hamilton of the AHL. The Lightning also announced they have entered into a one-year affiliation agreement with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL. "We are very happy to welcome the Florida Everblades to the Lightning organization today," Yzerman said. "The Everblades and their management have demonstrated a strong commitment to success by guiding their team to the playoffs in each of their 12 seasons in existence. That is exactly the type of winning environment we feel our players should develop in. Couple that with their proximity to Tampa and there really isn't a better option for us." Based in Estero, Florida, the Everblades were founded in 1998 and already have have made 12 consecutive playoff appearances since joining the ECHL, becoming the first team in ECHL history to make back-to-back Kelly Cup Finals appearances in 2003-04 and 2004-05. "We are extremely pleased to be affiliated with the Tampa Bay Lightning," Everblades president and GM Craig Brush said. "Steve Yzerman has very quickly assembled a top-notch organization."