Tampa Bay Lightning
Lightning sign 3 defensemen
TAMPA - The Lightning re-signed defenseman Vladimir Mihalik and signed free-agent defensemen Mathieu Roy and Mike Vernace to one-year, two-way contracts, General Manager Steve Yzerman announced Thursday. Mihalik (6-foot-2, 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. He was drafted by the Lightning in the first round, 30th overall, in 2005. 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 in a statement. "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, the Everblades were founded in 1998 and have made 12 consecutive playoff appearances since joining the ECHL. "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."