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Lightning's Cross agrees to new deal

After reaching an agreement this week on a new contract, Lightning defenseman Cory Cross is expected to sign early next week, his agent said.

The terms of the deal weren't released by his agent or the Lightning, but it reportedly is for three years and will pay Cross about $550,000 a season.

Lightning officials wouldn't confirm the agreement, but said they expected Cross, entering his third complete season in the NHL, to sign the contract next week, perhaps Monday.

"It's a deal Cory instructed me to accept," Cross' agent, Jim Carr, said. "Cory enjoys Tampa and enjoys playing in Tampa."

Cross didn't return calls Friday.

The Lightning, hoping to build on last year's appearance in the playoffs, a franchise first, still has star center Brian Bradley to worry about. Bradley, one of the remaining players from the Lightning's debut season in 1992-93, is seeking a new deal.

Bradley appears headed to an arbitration hearing next month in Toronto.

COYOTES: Defensman Norm Maciver signed a multiyear deal, avoiding salary arbitration.

_ Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.