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Lightning place aging defenseman Mattias Ohlund on the IR

Oct 4, 2011, 12:18 PM EDT

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Brad Marchand, Mattias Ohlund AP

Although the owners who actually churn out the checks will disagree, for the most part, the NHL’s worst contracts are all about term. It’s bad enough – but borderline inevitable – to pay a hockey player too much money. Things get a lot worse when that poor rate will renew itself for multiple seasons as that same player’s skills likely decline.

The Tampa Bay Lightning probably aren’t ecstatic about paying 35-year-old defenseman Mattias Ohlund a whopping $5.5 million in salary in 2011-12, but the long-term salary cap hit of approximately $3.61 million might be even scarier. It takes him through the 2015-16 season, making it one of those “What were they thinking?” contracts. Ohlund’s deal ties him with Steven Stamkos for the second longest running contract in Tampa Bay, behind Vincent Lecavalier‘s troubling deal.

Ohlund’s foot speed keeps diminishing to a worrisome point, but now he has bigger concerns. The Lightning placed the Swedish blueliner on the injured reserve Monday because of a knee injury. He underwent an MRI yesterday, but the results haven’t been revealed just yet. During his first two seasons with Tampa Bay, Ohlund played 67 games in 2009-10 and 72 in 10-11. We’ll see how many he can be a part of in 11-12, as this certainly isn’t a promising start.

(H/T to Rotoworld.)

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