TAMPA, Fla. - Free agent defenseman Mattias Ohlund has signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
This May 13, 2009, file photo shows Vancouver Canucks' Mattias Ohlund, of Sweden, listening to a reporter's question as the team gathered to clean out their lockers in Vancouver, B.C. Ohlund is leaving the only NHL home he's ever had. The 32-year-old defenceman has signed a $26.25 million, seven-year contract with the Tampa Lightning. (AP)
The 32-year-old native of Sweden has played in 770 games over the past 11 NHL seasons, all with the Vancouver Canucks. He is the Canucks’ career leader in goals by a defenseman and was an All-Star during the 1998-99 season.
He received a seven-year deal worth $24.5 million.
It was the first of a series of moves for the Lightning on Wednesday, as they also signed defenseman Matt Walker away from the Chicago Blackhawks and re-signed defenseman Lukas Krajicek.
Walker played in 65 games for the Blackhawks last season, when he had one goal and a career-high 13 assists. Krajicek, who signed a one-year deal, had two goals and 19 points last season with the Lightning.
Ohlund played in all 82 games last season, finishing with six goals and 25 points. He has 93 goals and 325 points during his career. In 52 playoff games, Ohlund notched nine goals and 28 points.
The Lightning not only feel they improved their roster immediately, but also are counting on Ohlund to be a mentor for Victor Hedman, the No. 2 overall pick in last week’s NHL draft.