Lightning stay busy, re-sign Ryan Craig, Niskala

TSN.ca Staff
7/2/2008 9:54:09 AM
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A day after inking Radim Vrbata, Adam Hall and Olaf Kolzig, the Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed restricted free agent centre Ryan Craig to a two-year contract and defenceman Janne Niskala to a one-year deal.

Contract terms not disclosed.

Craig missed 72 games last season with back and knee injuries. He notched one goal and one assist in seven games.

"We are glad Ryan has agreed to come back to the Lightning for two more years," said owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie upon making the announcement. "We like his versatility, strength on the puck and ability in front of the net. Ryan has worked diligently and tirelessly to come back from his knee injury and we know he will fit well on our team. We look forward to seeing him out on the ice at the start of training camp."

Craig, who was selected by the Lightning in the eighth round of the 2002 draft, has collected 30 goals and 57 points in 127 NHL games. The 26-year old is tied for the second-most goals by a rookie in franchise history with 15 in 2005-06.

Niskala was acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday in exchange for a sixth-round draft choice in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

“We have targeted Janne for some time and we like his ability to contribute offensively,” said Koules and Barrie upon making the announcement. “He has an upside that will be beneficial to the Lightning and we hope he can make our team and improve us on the blueline.”

Niskala, 26, was acquired by Philadelphia last week from Nashville for forward Triston Grant and a seventh-round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-foot, 200-pound native of Vasteras, Sweden recorded 19 goals, 44 points and 81 penalty minutes in 80 regular season games for the Predators' American Hockey League affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals, this past season.

Ryan Craig (Photo: Mitchell Layton/NHLI via Getty Images)


(Photo: Mitchell Layton/NHLI via Getty Images)
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