TAMPA — It didn't take long for Lightning GM Julien BriseBois to decide he wanted to put a waiver claim in Friday.
Not when he saw that F Danick Martel was available.
"He's a player we have had on our radar for a while, going back to actually his last year of juniors when he was a free agent," BriseBois said Saturday. "We actually looked at potentially signing him at the time."
The Flyers signed Martel instead. Until Friday, he was a member of their organization. Then Philadelphia placed him on waivers, providing BriseBois and the Lightning a chance to pick him up.
"He kind of fits our DNA in the sense that he is really fast, he's skilled and he is tenacious," BriseBois said. "There is something to work with there."
That might be a bit of an understatement. During the 199 career AHL games in which Martel, 23, has played — all but five over the past three seasons — he has scored 68 goals and added 52 assists.
"Most players who can put up those types of numbers in their first-year pro at the age of 20, 21, they usually end up being able to play at the NHL level," BriseBois said.
Martel played in four games for the Flyers last season. He did not score or register an assist.
Martel was expected to be on a flight to Tampa on Saturday. He could play in Tuesday's preseason game against the Panthers at Amalie Arena.
"It is kind of a no-risk gamble for us," BriseBois said. "He costs us nothing, we get to claim him, work with him and see how good he can be."
Lightning tops Predators
Finally, a Lightning preseason game that was not a rout.
At least for most of the game.
Tampa Bay lost its first two preseason games by a combined score of 10-2 to the Hurricanes. Then, the Lightning defeated the Predators 5-1 on Friday.
Saturday, the Lightning and Predators were tied 2-2 after two periods.
Then thanks to F Dennis Yan, Amalie Arena fans went from entertained to thrilled. Yan scored what ended up as the winning goal to make it 3-2 during a 4-on-4 with 6:59 left in the third period.
G Connor Ingram, who stopped 22 of 24 shots, was glad Yan was not firing the puck at him. He sees that enough in practice, so he could sympathize with Nashville G Juuse Saros.
"You give (Yan) a look in front of the net with no one in front of him, it's going to go in," Ingram said.
F Carter Verhaeghe and F Cedric Paquette then scored empty-net goals late in the third to give Tampa Bay a 5-2 victory.
F Alexander Volkov and F J.T. Miller scored for the Lightning in the second period.
Fan Fest on Sunday
About 12 hours after the game wrapped up, the Lightning will return to Amalie Arena for Fan Fest on Sunday.
The event — which includes watching practice, player autographs and photo stations — is free and open to the public. Season-ticket holders will have access to an exclusive interview session at 10 a.m. Otherwise, the doors will open at 11 a.m. for the general public.
Though the event is free, fans must have a mobile ticket. Tickets are available at tampabaylightning.com/fanfest.