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Tampa Bay Lightning to risk sending D Marc-Andre Bergeron through waivers



Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman is going to take a risk with newly signed defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron and try to get him through waivers so he can be sent down to AHL Norfolk. The Lightning had the option of adding Bergeron to the active roster and sending him to the minors on a conditioning assignment. But Yzerman said he expects Bergeron, who is coming off summer ACL reconstruction on his right knee, to need "substantial" playing time with Norfolk to be ready.

"Obviously, it's a bit of a gamble," Yzerman said Tuesday night. "But (a conditioning assignment) allows for two weeks or five games. We feel that he needs more time. We want him to play a significant number of games, so when he gets back to the NHL he's up and running."

Bergeron will go on waivers at noon Wednesday. We will know at noon Thursday if he clears.

Perhaps Tampa Bay is counting on the fact that Bergeron is an unknown because of his injury. But his price is right. The one-year, two-way contract is for $1 million if he plays in the NHL (prorated for whatever games he plays), and $105,000 in the minors. Bergeron would not be subject to recall waivers if he clears to go down because his contract is not more than $105,000.

Still, the Blues recently were burned on defenseman Marek Svatos, who signed an $800,000 free-agent contract to  return from Russia but then was claimed by the Predators. 

We're hoping he doesn't get claimed," Yzerman said of Bergeron. "He'll be down there as long as we need him to  play and get healthy and get in game shape and ready to play in the NHL."

[Last modified: Thursday, February 3, 2011 12:17am]


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