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Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman says roster set, for now

The Lightning has some work to do to sign restricted free-agent forwards Steven Stamkos and Teddy Purcell.

But assuming those contracts take care of themselves, as general manager Steve Yzerman said he believes they will, Tampa Bay's roster was completed Thursday with the signing of free agent right wing Ryan Shannon. "We are in a position now where we are a set roster," Yzerman said.

Tampa Bay also signed left wing Alex Picard to a one-year, two-way deal, but that is more for organizational depth.

It is believed Shannon, 28, with 11 goals and 27 points in 79 games last season for the Senators, will get the chance to earn the top-six forward spot vacated by Simon Gagne, who signed with the Kings.

With the available bottom-six forward position expected to be filled through competition among Tom Pyatt, Mattias Ritola, Blair Jones and perhaps Carter Ashton, Yzerman said he is willing to stand pat, including having eight defensemen with one-way deals.

"If something unforeseen comes along, we will re-evaluate," he said. "If there is a good player we can afford to sign, we will explore it. But for now, we have a player who fits what we're trying to do and the way we play."

As for Stamkos, Yzerman said he spoke to agent Don Meehan on Thursday and reiterated "we are making progress." Yzerman and Purcell's agent, Kent Hughes, have said they expect to reach a deal before their arbitration hearing.

That brings us back to Shannon. "He can really skate," Yzerman said. "He's a smart player. He's got good skills and can play any of the three forward positions. And his contract fits in with what we're trying to do right now." Said Shannon, "I love the game. I just want to be part of a winning culture, and that is what Tampa Bay is."

Realignment: Wild owner Craig Leipold may have given details in a radio interview. The Wild will be in a division with the Jets, Blues, Predators, Stars, Blackhawks and maybe Blue Jackets, he told Minneapolis' KFAN-AM in comments reported by prohockeytalk.com. Columbus is the only team not in the Central time zone; Yahoo Sports has reported that new divisions, in effect for 2012-13, would be time zone-based.

Flyers: Right wing Wayne Simmonds agreed to terms on a two-year, $3.5 million contract extension. He was acquired from the Kings last month in a trade that sent captain Mike Richards west.

panthers: Craig Ramsay, let go as coach after the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg in May, was hired as an assistant for new coach Kevin Dineen. Ramsay, an ex-Lightning assistant, was an associate Panthers coach during the franchise's first two seasons (1993-95).

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman says roster set, for now 07/07/11 [Last modified: Friday, July 8, 2011 12:17am]
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