Lightning sign veteran free agent defenceman Malik Staff

10/14/2008 7:26:06 PM

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed unrestricted free agent defenceman Marek Malik to a one-year contract, worth a pro-rated $1.2-million for the 2008-2009 season.

Malik, 33, has played 649 games in a 12-year NHL career with Hartford, Carolina, Vancouver and the New York Rangers, compiling a plus-136 rating.

The 6-foot-6, 240-pound stay-at-home blueliner should bring some stability to a Lightning defence corps that is very inexperienced. 

Aside from journeyman Jamie Heward, who has played 384 career NHL games, 23-year-old Andrej Meszaros leads the current crop of Lightning defence -- including Paul Ranger, Lukas Krajicek, Matt Carle, Mike Lundin and Janne Niskala -- with just 249 NHL games.