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Tampa Bay Lightning, goaltender Dwayne Roloson agree to terms on one-year, $3 million deal

The Lightning on Wednesday had a day of good news and no news.

The good news was the team agreed to terms with goaltender Dwayne Roloson on a one-year, $3 million contract, and right wing Adam Hall signed a one-year deal.

No news? That is what came out of negotiations between general manager Steve Yzerman and agents for All-Star center Steven Stamkos, who if unsigned by Friday becomes a restricted free agent open to offer sheets from other teams.

"I wouldn't say it's better or worse," Yzerman said of the Stamkos talks. "All I can say is we'll continue to work toward getting a contract done."

Wrote agent Don Meehan in an e-mail: "We are in the midst of discussions."

Discussions are over when it comes to Roloson, who is vacationing and yet to sign his contract, though that is believed to be a formality.

Roloson was a terrific pickup for Tampa Bay last season, going 10-6 in the playoffs with a 2.51 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage.

That was after going 18-12-4 with a 2.56 goals-against average, a .912 save percentage and four shutouts in 34 games after he was acquired in January from the Islanders for prospect Ty Wishart.

"He played very well for us down the stretch, a veteran leader," Yzerman said. "We're happy to bring him back for another year."

Still, Roloson will be 42 next season. And though Yzerman said a longer-term deal was discussed, "We thought at this stage a one-year contract makes the most sense for us."

The next step, Yzerman said, is getting Mike Smith signed as Roloson's backup.

Smith rehabilitated his career last season by handling his demotion to AHL Norfolk and playing so well upon his return. In his final 10 games, including three in the playoffs, Smith went 6-2-1 with a 1.53 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage.

"We don't want to burn Roli out and play him 70 games. That's not the intention," Yzerman said. "We're hoping to have two goalies we can put out there and feel good about."

Asked if he believed Smith, 29, a potential unrestricted free agent Friday who will have to take a pay cut from last season's $2.4 million salary to stay with Tampa Bay, can be signed, Yzerman said, "I'm not sure. We're hopeful."

Yzerman also is hopeful when it comes to Stamkos, 21, who the past two seasons has a league-best 96 goals. He said he expected to speak with Meehan today.

With both sides, as Yzerman has said, "flexible" on the length of the contract, the sticking point clearly is money. That could take care of itself if Stamkos becomes restricted, signs an offer sheet and forces Tampa Bay to match it.

It is difficult to say if an offer sheet is coming. The Flyers and Maple Leafs have been rumored to have interest, but according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the chances the Flyers make a bid is less than 50 percent.

As for Tampa Bay, Yzerman said, "I would just say as far as the salary cap and cash, we're in a position to do whatever is right for the organization."

Until then, he added, "We'll be talking. As long as we're talking, I'm hopeful we can get something done."

Tampa Bay Lightning, goaltender Dwayne Roloson agree to terms on one-year, $3 million deal 06/29/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 11:11pm]
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