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2010 NHL free agency: Lightning re-sign Vladimir Mihalik, sign two others

Jul 29, 2010, 11:48 AM EDT

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vladmihalik.jpgThe Lightning continued their busy summer by helping to fill out ranks along the blueline by re-signing Vladimir Mihalik and signing Mathieu Roy and Mike Vernace.

Mihalik is a big boy standing at 6’7″ and 244 pounds, but is a smooth skating offensive defenseman. He’s had a little bit of time with the big club in Tampa Bay, but he’s spent the majority of his career with the Lightning AHL affiliate in Norfolk. Mihalik could challenge for a spot on the bottom pair this season and the chances are good that Lightning coach Guy Boucher saw him play a bit while coaching in the AHL last season. Competition for that

Mathieu Roy was with the Columbus Blue Jackets last season and played in 31 games for them last year setting a new career high in games played. I’ll give you two guesses as to where his destination is set for next season and the first one doesn’t count. Roy will help provide stability and depth within the Lightning system.

Michael Vernace comes to the Lightning from the Hamilton Bulldogs and it’s safe to say that he’s a player that Guy Boucher likes just fine and trusts to get more work in Norfolk with the Admirals. Chances that all three of these guys end up in Norfolk to start the season run pretty high, but retaining Mihalik is a good thing for the Lightning as he’s got the most upside of the bunch.

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