Lightning sign Ohlund, Walker to multi-year contracts Staff

7/1/2009 2:06:27 PM

After spending his entire 12-year career with the Vancouver Canucks, defenceman Mattias Ohlund is going to the Tampa Bay Lightning with a new seven-year contract worth $26.25 million.

"We are thrilled Mattias elected to sign with the Tampa Bay Lightning today," said Lightning GM Brian Lawton in a statement.

"With so many options in front of him, having him elect to play in Tampa demonstrates the faith he has in our team's strategy and vision for success, which should be exciting for our fans. This signing accomplished two primary goals for us. First, we have added the top-two defenseman we coveted to lead our blue line and second, we have found a leader and a mentor for Victor Hedman as he prepares to play in the NHL this fall."

The 32-year-old native of Sweden had six goals and 19 assists in 81 games with the Canucks last season.

Ohlund was drafted by the Vancouver 13th overall in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft.

In 770 career regular season games, Ohlund has 93 goals and 232 assists for 325 points. He the leads the franchise all-time for defencemen in goals and points.

Ohlund was also a member of the gold-medal-winning Swedish Olympic team at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.

The club also signed defenceman Matt Walker to a four-year, $6.8 million deal.

The 6'3" defenceman played in 65 games for the Blackhawks last season, where he had one goal and a career-high 13 assists.