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Tampa Bay Lightning loses Antti Miettinen to Winnipeg Jets

General manager Steve Yzerman said he wasn't surprised the Lightning lost free agent Antti Miettinen off waivers to the Jets.

"We knew there would be a risk in doing this," he said.

But he also said the system that allows teams to so easily lose a player it worked hard to sign "needs to be tweaked."

"There is a flaw to it," Yzerman said, and added as an alternative, "Maybe you can't be claimed by a team higher than you in the standings."

The Lightning on Monday signed Miettinen to a deal it hoped would scare waiver hunters away: two years, $3 million with a $500,000 signing bonus and a no-move clause.

But because the former Wild star was returning to the NHL from Europe — he played 20 games for Kazan of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League — he also had to clear waivers.

The rule prevents teams from stockpiling players in Europe and bringing them back when needed, thus circumventing the salary cap. But it seems to penalizes teams that sign players.

The Blues were victimized by the Sharks in the same way last season with Kyle Wellwood.

"Not at all," Yzerman said of having hard feelings toward the Jets. "If somebody else signed him, depending on the contract, we would have considered claiming him. We like the player. They were well within the rules and they're entitled to do it."

NOTES: Defenseman Evan Oberg was reassigned to AHL Norfolk. … The league officially announced Steve Downie's $2,500 fine for Thursday's dustup with the Rangers.

Tampa Bay Lightning loses Antti Miettinen to Winnipeg Jets 12/13/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 11:01pm]
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