Feb 5, 2011, 8:41 PM EDT
If you ask me, it never hurts to have a few extra NHL-ready defensemen around.
Steve Yzerman would probably agree with this statement, as he made the wise decision to give offensive defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron the chance to play his way into the team’s rotation this season. Bergeron got his legs back under him in the AHL and with Mike Lundin injured and Mattias Ohlund banged up, the team decided to recall the specialized blueliner.
Although Bergeron showed the occasional shred of defensive acumen during his time in Minnesota (perhaps because Jacques Lemaire wouldn’t allow anything less), he’s very much an offensive-minded defensemen. You won’t want to line him up against a team’s best forward line, but he can be an asset on the power play and on the attack.
Bergeron has a .49 point per game average in his NHL career, a solid rate for a D-man. He scored two goals and six assists for eight points in 13 games with the Norfolk Admirals in the AHL this season, so at least that part of his game seems intact.
Considering the firepower Tampa Bay employs in their forward corps, Bergeron could put up some nice numbers if he gets big PP minutes. The Lightning play their next eight games at home, so they can take some time to integrate him into the lineup and milk favorable matchups. Unless, of course, they just decide to make him a healthy scratch/depth guy.
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