TAMPA - The Tampa Bay Lightning agreed to terms with pending free-agent goaltender Dwayne Roloson, Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman confirmed Wednesday, while negotiations for would-be restricted free agent Steven Stamkos continued.
The deal for Roloson was reported by TSN to be a one-year pact worth $3 million. The salary matches the amount Roloson earned last season when he was acquired from the New York Islanders on New Year's Day.
Roloson, who will turn 42 just after next season begins, went 18-12-4 with a 2.56 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage in 34 regular-season games with Tampa Bay.
In the postseason, his first playoffs since leading Edmonton to the Stanley Cup finals in 2006, Roloson went 10-5 with a 2.51 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage in 17 games, including a shutout in Game 7 against Pittsburgh to cap a rally from down 3-1 in the first round.
The deal is not official until Roloson, who was set to become an unrestricted free agent, is able to sign the deal and it is registered with the league. Roloson is on vacation with his family, which is delaying his signature. But with Roloson back for another year, it solves one of the team's biggest question marks before free agency begins at noon Friday.
"Goaltending is obviously an important need as we keep trying to chip away at things," Yzerman said. "Every contract we do affects the next one, so we are trying to get as many done with as many people as we can bring back. And this one was important to me.
"We brought him in and he played very well for us. He's a good leader, his work ethic is outstanding, so we wanted to bring him back."
Among the next contracts Roloson's signing affects immediately are that of goaltender Mike Smith and Stamkos.
Yzerman and assistant general manager Julien BriseBois held talks with the agents for Stamkos on Wednesday, and the sides intend to hold more discussions today. Stamkos would be eligible to sign an offer sheet on Friday if not signed by then.
"Nothing new to report, (but) anytime you are talking it's positive," Yzerman said.
A message sent to Mark Guy, Stamkos' agent, was not returned.
Yzerman also said the team intends to hold talks involving Smith, who played well as a backup the final two months of the season and was strong in the postseason.
"We are discussing with Mike's agent right now and we'd like to bring Mike back," Yzerman said. "We've had some discussions in general letting them know we would like to have Mike back but we wanted to see where we were at with Roli before I could do something. And now knowing where we are with Roli, we'll do our best in the next couple of days to see if we can't get Mike back as well."
Tampa Bay also made official on Wednesday the signing of forward Adam Hall to a one-year deal worth $600,000, matching the amount he made last season, when he appeared in all 82 games.
Yzerman also confirmed that talks have been cut off regarding playoff hero Sean Bergenheim, who scored nine goals in the postseason.
The sides are far apart and, barring a radical change of direction from either side, Bergenheim will be available on the free-agent market.
"If things are different in July, we would love to have him back. He is a great player and a great person and if things don't work out the way they hope they do and we still have a spot open, then we would talk," Yzerman said.
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