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Lightning resumes spree of player signings

By KEVIN KELLY

© St. Petersburg Times, published July 17, 2001


After signing or trading for seven players last week, the Lightning continued the trend Monday by signing restricted free agent defenseman Stan Neckar to a two-year contract and 1999 draft pick Jimmie Olvestad to a three-year rookie contract.

After signing or trading for seven players last week, the Lightning continued the trend Monday by signing restricted free agent defenseman Stan Neckar to a two-year contract and 1999 draft pick Jimmie Olvestad to a three-year rookie contract.

Neckar (6-1, 214 pounds) was part of the trade that brought goalie Nikolai Khabibulin to the Lightning from Phoenix on March 5. He had an immediate impact with his rugged stay-at-home play on defense in 16 games.

The 25-year-old had two assists and eight penalty minutes.

"Stan is a hard-working, gritty sort of defenseman who can move the puck," general manager Rick Dudley said. "He's very good on penalty kill. He does a lot of things that we like."

Olvestad (6-1, 194) was the 88th overall pick in the 1999 draft. He is a defensive-minded forward who has drawn comparisons to Ottawa's Magnus Arvedson. He has played with Djurgarden of the Swedish Elite League the past three seasons and played three games for Sweden at the World Championships this year.

"I think he's coming over to make the team," Dudley said. "I don't believe he would've signed a contract unless he thinks he's got a legitimate chance to play for us."

BRUINS: General manager Mike O'Connell has threatened to trade captain Jason Allison if the sides can't agree on a contract.

LEAFS: Francois Bouchard, a former defenseman at Northeastern University and supplemental draft selection of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 1994, was signed.

PANTHERS: Defensemen Dan Boyle and Ivan Majesky signed one-year contracts. Boyle scored four goals and had 18 assists in 69 games last season. Majesky was the team's 12th pick in last month's draft.

PREDATORS: Left wing Martin Erat was signed. The 19-year-old Erat led Red Deer of the Western Hockey League in scoring in 22 playoff games last season.

RANGERS: Defenseman Fedor Tjutin, a second-round draft pick, was signed. The 18-year-old player from Russia was the 40th overall selection in the entry draft.

THRASHERS: Centers Tony Hrkac and Bob Corkum, both unrestricted free agents, signed contracts. The team also signed defenseman Todd Reirden.

-- Information from other news organizations was used in this report.

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