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Should the Tampa Bay Lightning try to claim Antti Miettinen off waivers?



Here's a question that could make your head explode: should the Tampa Bay Lightning put in a waiver claim for Jets forward Antti Miettinen?

The Lightning, if you recall, signed the right wing in December to a two-year free-agent contract, but lost him to Winnipeg because as a player returning to the NHL from Europe, Miettinen had to first clear waivers and was claimed by the Jets.

What gives you pause to think Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman might still be interested in Miettinen, 31, are the lengths to which he went trying to make Miettinen unattractive to other teams and get him through waivers. First, he gave Miettinen a two-year, $3 million contract with a $500,000 signing bonus. He also included a no-move clause, which Miettinen had to waive so the Jets could put him on waivers.

Miettinen, though, has been pretty much a bust with the Jets. He has four assists in 27 games, is minus-7 and averaging just 11:54 of ice time.

That said, perhaps he was unhappy in Winnipeg. After all, he did sign to play in sunny Florida. And maybe he does not like the system the Jets use. On the other hand, perhaps the Lightning was lucky the Jets picked up Miettinen because he just doesn't have it anymore.

So, what does Yzerman do? Does he pass on Miettinen, especially considering his performance and that Yzerman's plans probably have changed a bunch since December, when he was looking to give the team a boost rather than selling off assets. Or does he go for it and take on a contract for next season that has a no-move clause?

Interesting questions.

[Last modified: Friday, February 24, 2012 2:41pm]


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