WINNIPEG — The Lightning on Thursday made a personnel move for the fourth straight game day, but instead of sending a player out, it brought one in, claiming F Tim Wallace off waivers from the Islanders.
"All our reports on him were positive," GM Steve Yzerman said. "We think he's a guy who can come in and contribute."
Tampa Bay was depleted after forwards Dominic Moore and Steve Downie and defenseman Pavel Kubina were traded, respectively, during the previous three game days. But the situation is acute at forward, with C Vinny Lecavalier out for at least three weeks with a fractured right hand.
Wallace, 6 feet 1, 207 pounds, joins the team today.
"He's a gritty guy. He's a strong and competitive guy," Yzerman said. "We thought he'd be able to help us down the stretch."
Wallace, 27, played 31 games for New York with one assist and six penalty minutes. He also was minus-7 with an average 8:40 of ice time. In 24 games with AHL Bridgeport, Wallace had nine goals, 20 points and 13 penalty minutes, and was plus-2.
Making Wallace feel at home with the Lightning will be C Nate Thompson, who grew up with Wallace in Anchorage, Alaska, and called him a "lifelong friend."
"I'm happy to have him here," Thompson said. "He's a big body. He hits like a truck, and he's willing if need be to drop the gloves. He's a good all-around player."
OHLUND SURGERY: The first step in what Mattias Ohlund hopes will be the resurrection of his career is over. The defenseman had major surgery on his left knee at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. "The surgery went well," Yzerman said.
The procedure by noted orthopedist Anthony Miniaci included resurfacing the bottom of the femur — where the cartilage had worn away — with a thin layer of titanium.
The only timetable for recovery is that it will take months. The surgery is considered the last, best chance to help Ohlund, who has not played a regular-season game this season and has four years and $11.75 million left on his contract.
MORE MEDICAL MATTERS: D Marc-Andre Bergeron is not with the team because of a back injury that has kept him out of 17 of the past 18 games. It is believed he has a slightly bulging disc that is affecting his sciatic nerve.
Bergeron has seen several doctors looking for a cure. Yzerman said surgery is not yet indicated and considers it a "last resort."
"Just tell me when he's ready," coach Guy Boucher said.
"I hear a different sound to what it is and what it's going to be every day. I've stopped listening, to be honest with you. He's been missing so long and we've had so many injuries, I put that aside now. I don't wait for players anymore. It just distracts you from what you have right now."
ODDS AND ENDS: The addition of Wallace gives Tampa Bay 13 healthy forwards. C Trevor Smith or C Mike Angelidis could be sent back to AHL Norfolk. Yzerman said he will wait until after the weekend to make a decision. … The Jets had scored on seven straight power-play chances before failing in the third period. … Bergeron and Lecavalier were the scratches.