Tampa Bay Lightning signs free-agent center Dominic Moore

Dominic Moore said he idolized Steve Yzerman growing up.

So, when Moore on Friday signed a two-year, $2.2 million contract with the Lightning, he agreed that having Yzerman as a general manager is kind of cool.

The center, likely pegged for the third line, quickly pointed out that his respect for Yzerman isn't fan worship, or "fan-ship," as he put it.

"It's the kind of thing, you look up to him," Moore said. "Everybody knows the kind of person Steve Yzerman is and the way he carries himself."

Yzerman praised Moore's versatility, his skating, penalty killing and ability to step up to one of the top two lines. A bonus, Yzerman said, is Moore's ability on faceoffs.

Moore, who turns 30 on Tuesday and will make $1 million next season and $1.2 million in 2011-12, won 55.1 percent of his draws last season with the Panthers and Canadiens. He also had 10 goals, 28 points and 43 penalty minutes in 69 games.

"He's such a versatile guy," Yzerman said. "But mostly we liked the skating ability. Adding Simon (Gagne) and now Dominic, we've elevated the speed of our forward group."

The signing, another solid one in a winning summer, brings the Lightning's roster close to completion. Yzerman is debating whether to add an eighth defenseman, and one third- or fourth-line slot is open at wing.

"Our decision now is, do we sign one more forward to a one-way contract or do we leave a spot open and allow these guys to compete for a job?" Yzerman said. "If there's a player who's out there that we like and the number fits for the spot, we would consider it. Otherwise, we'll go with the players we have and allow them compete for a spot."

Perhaps they will see the chance as does the 6-foot, 196-pound Moore.

"It's a team that under Steve Yzerman is going in the right direction," Moore said. "Steve was a player I grew up kind of idolizing as a kid, so it's an honor to be part of his group."

Kovalchuk hearing: The league and union agreed on an arbitrator in the Ilya Kovalchuk contract case. A decision is expected late next week, the Record of Hackensack, N.J., reported. The league rejected Kovalchuk's 17-year, $102 million deal with the Devils.

Isles-Ducks trade: New York got defenseman James Wisniewski, 26, for a conditional 2011 third-round drat pick. Last season he had a career-high 30 points (three goals, 27 assists).

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Tampa Bay Lightning signs free-agent center Dominic Moore 07/30/10 [Last modified: Friday, July 30, 2010 11:26pm]

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