Lightning trades Blair Jones to Flames for defenseman
Update 3:11 p.m. With the Lightning's defensive depth depleted, it made a trade today, sending forward Blair Jones to Calgary for defenseman Brendan Mikkelson.
Mikkelson (6-3, 205) who has played 86 career NHL games but has spent this season in the American Hockey League, will join the Lightning.
"I like his size and skating ability," Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said. "I thought we needed to get bigger on the blueline, and I think he gives us a little more depth. I know he's a real good skater. I think he makes us a bit bigger, stronger on the blue line."
Yzerman said both Jones and Mikkelson are similar type players in terms of age, and that they're "knocking on the door of the NHL."
Yzerman wouldn't classify Mikkelson as an offensive-minded defenseman, saying he's a guy who is able to skate the puck up the ice, make the good first pass.
Here's some background from the team release:
Mikkelson, 6-foot-3, 206 pounds, has played in 86 career NHL games with the Flames and the Anaheim Ducks, recording six assists and 40 penalty minutes. He made his NHL debut during the 2008-09 season and played in a career-high 34 games with Anaheim. Mikkelson played in his first NHL game on January 2, 2009 against Philadelphia.
A native of Regina, Saskatchewan, Mikkelson has appeared in 33 games for the Abbotsford Heat this season, notching three goals and 15 points. He is one of three Heat players to skate in all 33 games in 2011-12 and ranks second among all team defensemen in goals, assists and points.
Mikkelson has played in 183 career AHL games with the Portland Pirates, Iowa Chops, Toronto Marlies and Abbotsford. He has amassed 18 career AHL goals and 64 points. Mikkelson helped Portland to the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2008 Calder Cup Playoffs, recording two goals and eight points.
The 24-year-old was claimed off waivers by Calgary from Anaheim on October 19, 2010. He was drafted by the Ducks in the second round, 31st overall, of the 2005 NHL Draft.
-- JOE SMITH