Welcome back, Mr. Lukowich
The Lightning signed free-agent defenseman Brad Lukowich to a three-year $4.7-million contract. Lukowich was part of the Lightning's 2004 Stanley Cup team, went to the Islanders and then to the Devils, and became one of New Jersey's most consistent blue-liners.
“Brad Lukowich is a warrior,” Lightning GM Jay Feaster said. “He plays the game with his heart on his sleeve and he does whatever it takes to win. He knows our system, he knows our core personnel, he knows how we do things in Tampa and what we expect from our players, and he is a winner. He is also a very good teammate and a popular player in the locker room. He has personality and spirit and old-school flair about him. We like everything about him and we are thrilled to welcome him back to our hockey team.”
Lukowich, who set career highs with five goals, 19 points and a plus-29 plus/minus rating in 79 games with the Lightning in 2003-04, split the past two seasons between the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils. In his career, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound native of Surrey, British Columbia has skated in 523 games with the Lightning, Islanders, Devils and Dallas Stars, recording 21 goals, 96 points, 333 penalty minutes and a plus-48 plus/minus rating. He has also appeared in 65 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, recording a goal, six points and a plus-9 plus/minus rating. Originally acquired by Tampa Bay in a trade from Dallas at the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, Lukowich also captured the Stanley Cup with Dallas in 1999.
Lukowich played three full seasons with Kamloops of the Western Hockey League from 1993 to 1996, recording 29 goals, 130 points and 405 penalty minutes in 171 games. He made his professional debut with Michigan of the International Hockey League in 1996-97, and recorded 16 goals, 54 assists and 276 penalty minutes in three seasons with the K-Wings.
He made his NHL debut with the Stars during the 1997-98 season, and became a regular in the Dallas lineup during the 1999-00 season. In 2000-01, his plus-28 plus/minus rating led the Stars and placed him fourth among NHL defensemen. His father, Bernie Lukowich, played two NHL seasons in 1973-74 and 1974-75 with St. Louis and Pittsburgh , while his cousin, Morris Lukowich, played 582 career NHL games from 1979 to 1987 with Winnipeg , Boston and Los Angeles .