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Lightning ink Miettinen after unimpressive Russian league stint

Dec 12, 2011, 3:20 PM EDT

(Now there’s a compelling headline.)

The Tampa Bay Lightning have inked former Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars forward Antti Miettinen to a two-year, one-way contract. Financial terms weren’t disclosed and he’ll be subjected to waivers, but for the time being let’s consider him a member of the Bolts.

The signing comes two weeks after Miettinen and Russian club AK Bars Kazan “mutually agreed to terminate their contract.” Miettinen was a key offseason acquisition for AK Bars but struggled to find his game, recording 2G-6A-8PTS in 20 games played.

Fun Fact: During the 2004-05 lockout, AK Bars signed 11 NHLers, including Ilya Kovalchuk, Vincent Lecavalier and Dany Heatley. During the 2010-11 NHL playoffs, I was in San Jose watching the Sharks-Canucks series and saw this on the street:


That is a replica Dany Heatley AK Bars Kazan jersey. I would venture to say it’s the only one currently residing in North America.

Anyway, back to Miettinen. As mentioned earlier, he’ll now be subjected to waivers — meaning Tampa must wait and see if he becomes the 2011 version of Marek Svatos.

Svatos, you’ll recall, was signed by St. Louis last season after being released Omsk Avangard of the KHL…only to be plucked off waivers by Nashville. (The Preds then waived Svatos after nine games, at which point Ottawa picked him up. It wasn’t a banner campaign for ol’ Marek. In a related story, he’s now unemployed.)

  1. bcisleman - Dec 12, 2011 at 4:04 PM

    For perspective on how bad Miettinnen’s Ak Bars stint was, Islander prospect Kirill Petrov plays for the very same team. He was a 3rd round 2008 pick because teams were afraid he wouldn’t make the jump across the pond. In any event, he has never played a game in the NHL and is 10-7-17. Doesnt say a lot about TBL’s forwards if they are going to that kind of trouble to get this guy.

    • davebabychreturns - Dec 12, 2011 at 5:49 PM

      This is a strange comment..

      First of all, using goals-assists-points to compare Antti Miettinen (a strong defensive player who hits and will chip in about thirty points a year at the NHL level) to Kirill Petrov (a player drafted entirely for his offensive ability) is extremely misleading.

      Second, how did the Lightning go to “that kind of trouble” – they offered a contract to an unrestricted free agent. And Miettinen is as good a target as any for an organization with the league’s fourth-worst team defense.

      Anyway, the KHL is reputedly a place where players who are not snipers had better make sure their employers know it before the start of the season – this wouldn’t be the first time a player has been cut loose from a team in that league only to come back to the NHL and contribute somewhere.

      • bcisleman - Dec 12, 2011 at 9:35 PM

        Not at all strange. The article used Antti’s production as its parameter for his play. I am well aware that he is a defensive forward. Its not unreasonable to suppose that an experienced veteran like Antti might have at least comparable production to a young prospect without NHL experience especially since Petrov’s ice time has been limited by this team.

  2. lsxphotog - Dec 12, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    What a curve ball, strange move that will probably result in a total of 5-6 minutes of ice time a game and maybe 7 points by the end of the year. Moving in the right direction, Tampa…

  3. gbiscottagecheesefatties - Dec 12, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    well Mikko was feeding him GOLD for a few years in Minny…

  4. gbiscottagecheesefatties - Dec 12, 2011 at 7:22 PM

    in the picture above I see a Ford Windstar, Chevy 1500 and what looks like a Canucks jersey…. WHERE WAS THIS TAKEN ???

    • elvispocomo - Dec 12, 2011 at 11:11 PM

      In San Jose during the Western Finals. It would have been game 3 or 4 I guess.

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