The Tampa Bay Lightning's signing of Vancouver Canucks UFA defenseman Mattias Ohlund (per Kevin Allen of USA Today on Twitter) appears to have caused a momentary lapse of puckhead reason. The overwhelming reaction: SEVEN YEARS?
Yes, seven years for a player who will be 33 years old by next season. It's the way of the world today.
But the Lightning have Mattias Ohlund, a No. 1 pairing defenseman, at a $3.75 million cap hit (per TSN); and based on their behavior last summer ($4.5 million per season for Ryan Malone!) it's safe to say they've learned something about this process.
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Besides, Ohlund as top draft pick Victor Hedman's mentor is a stroke of brilliance. The Capitals are a team that's done the mentor/countryman thing well; good to see the Lightning following that trend.
Lightning Strikes calls it a good deal, and we agree. Your Tampa Bay defensive corps: Victor Hedman, Mattias Ohlund, Andrej Meszaros, Paul Ranger and Lukas Krajicek, with another spot open. If Mike Smith returns to form between the pipes, that's not a bad defense. Insane as it may sound, could we be talking about a reversal of fortunes for the Tampa Bay circus next season?
If so, will Koules and Barrie skip down the street holding hands again?