More depth; Lightning signs Konopka
The Lightning signed free agent center Zenon Konopka to a two-year contract, the team announced. The contract is a two-way deal next season and a one-way in 2009-10 that pays $500,000.
“Zenon Konopka is a prime example of the type of player we want to have in our organization,” vice president of hockey operations Brian Lawton said in the team's announcement. “He is a great leader in the dressing room and is one of those players that you love to have on your team, but hate to play against.”
Konopka, 6-foot-1, 213-pounds, played in 62 games with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League last season. He scored a career-high 24 goals and recorded a professional-best 55 points. Konopka ranked third on the team in goals and was second in points. He also ranked second on the team with 11 power play goals and tied for fourth among forwards with a plus-9 rating. Konopka also played in three games with the Columbus Blue Jackets, recording four shots on goal and 15 penalty minutes.
A native of Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Konopka has played in 32 career NHL games with Columbus and the Anaheim Ducks. He recorded a career-best four goals and seven points with two power-play goals in 23 games with the Ducks in 2005-06.
Konopka has played in 280 career AHL games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Utah, Syracuse, Cincinnati and Portland. He has netted 86 career goals and recorded 212 points. He also played in 44 career Calder Cup Playoff games, recording 17 goals and 45 points. Konopka has also played in 91 career games in the ECHL with Wheeling and Idaho, recording 28 goals and 98 points.
The 27-year-old played in 242 games with the Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League during his junior career. Konopka scored 28 goals and recorded 98 points with Ottawa. He also played in 51 career playoff games, recording 16 goals and 37 points.
Undrafted out of juniors, Konopka served last season as the captain for the Crunch.
Finally, a word about the town hall meeting. Have gotten several e-mails worried ownership is trying to side-step questions by not taking fan inquiries and only questions submitted prior by e-mail. Yes, it gives them a way to control what they ultimately answer, but seeing how Oren Koules, Len Barrie and Barry Melrose shook hands and responded to fan questions when Melrose and Steve Stamkos were introduced, I just don't believe it is anything that sinister. And I will bet Koules addresses the Dan Boyle situation, perhaps without even being asked. So, I say submit all your questions and let's not judge till we see how it goes.