Expect newly signed D Marc-Andre Bergeron to test injured knee with AHL Norfolk
The Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday signed free-agent defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron. The one-year, two-way contract is believed to be for $1 million if he plays in the NHL and $105,000 if he is in the minors. The final hurdle was cleared during the day when Bergeron, who had right-knee surgery during the summer, passed a physical.
There was no immediate word, but expect, expect Bergeron to begin his season with NHL Norfolk; if he is sent there on a "conditioning assignment" he does not have to clear waivers. The Lightning's defensive corps is currently pretty stable, so there is no reason to rush Bergeron, who has not played a game this season nor has he practiced with a team. Neither the Lightning nor Bergeron's agent Paul Corbeil were ready to comment publicly. But Corbeil previously had said he believed the Lightning a "nice fit" for his client.
Bergeron, 30, played last season for the Canadiens and had 13 goals, 21 assists in 60 games. He had seven goals and 15 assists on the power play. He is not nearly as strong on defense, which is why Bergeron likely would be a specialist in Tampa Bay's scheme of things.
The move will be the second major move for general manager Steve Yzerman in four days. He traded with the Islanders Saturday night for goalie Dwayne Roloson to solidify Tampa Bay's net presence. Now, he is adding some pop to the blue line. Lightning defenseman have just 12 goals this season, seven by Brett Clark, who has scored five of those from in close on the power play.