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Lightning sign Salo to two-year, $7.5 million deal

Jul 1, 2012, 5:47 PM EDT

Sami Salo AP

One of the longest serving Canucks is leaving Vancouver.

According to TSN’s Gord Miller, defenseman Sami Salo has signed a two-year, $7.5 million deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning for an annual cap hit of $3.75 million.

The money represents a significant pay raise for the 37-year-old rearguard — after finishing a four-year, $14 million deal with Vancouver in 2011 ($3.5 million annually), Salo re-upped on a one-year, $2 million deal for 2011-12.

The $3.75 million will be the highest average annual salary of Salo’s career.

The move is reminiscent of the contract ex-Canuck Mattias Ohlund signed with Tampa in 2009. Despite his age (32) and durability issues, the Lightning gave Ohlund a seven-year, $25.25 million deal — Ohlund has since missed 101 games to injury in the three seasons.

There will likely be similar concerns with Salo, long known for his injury woes.

Check that, freakish injury woes. He’s ruptured a testicle suffered a testicle-related injury, torn his Achilles tendon playing floorball (a type of floor hockey) and hurt his shoulder after colliding with a teammate during a line change at the 2006 Olympics.

Tampa would be wise to keep him away from open manholes.

As mentioned earlier, Salo was the third longest-tenured Canuck behind Daniel and Henrik Sedin. The hard shooting Finn posted 9G-16A-25PTS last season, not far off his career highs of 14G-23A-37 points (from 2006-07.)

Should be noted that Salo led all Vancouver defensemen in power play goals last year, with seven, and promises to make Tampa’s PP an absolute shooting gallery alongside Steve Stamkos.

  1. ikillchicken - Jul 1, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    I’m really sad to see Salo go. He’s been with the team as long as I’ve been following them. I had really hoped he would retire a Canuck.

    It’s the right call though (especially if he was looking for this kind of money). In addition to being injury prone, he’s just not the player he was a year ago. He looked frequently a step behind this year.

    Of course, this puts even more pressure on the Canucks to find a replacement. Going into the season again with just Salo was a poor option but going in without him is unacceptable.

  2. boltindc - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    Too damn rich.

  3. hitem396 - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    omg now canucks need another dman who can score in pp. it looks over paid but doesnt mean he is not good

  4. blomfeld - Jul 2, 2012 at 3:40 AM

    Salo, Mitchell, Jovo, Ohlund …

    It’s truly unbelievable how “callous and stupid” this Canuckle organization is. Here today, while we LA Kings are bringing comrade Penner back to the fold, the “good ole” Canucks are busy putting a knife into the back of one of their most loyal and trusted defenders. Let it be known friends that this is “exactly” the reason why despite living here, I will “never” support or emotionally invest in this team. To me, the Canucks and their fans are nothing more than a bunch of “Judas’s” whom you should never trust or befriend !

    If you’re an LA Kings fan, then you needn’t worry … this type of betrayal will never happen within our ranks ! So grab your wife or sweetheart friend and take joy in the knowledge that we are the best ! :) GO KINGS GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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