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Lightning’s Tyrell signs in Slovak league

Dec 5, 2012, 10:41 AM EDT

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Dana Tyrell

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Dana Tyrell has agreed to a lockout deal with Slovak Extraliga club Banska Bystrica, according to the team website.

Banska has been in the news of late thanks to its aggressive pursuit of locked-out NHLers. The team first agreed to a deal with San Jose Sharks forward Michal Handzus two weeks ago, then inked Minnesota defenseman Clayton Stoner and Pittsburgh forward Tanner Glass within the last 14 days.

Tyrell, 23, is another nice addition for the Slovak club, though he did fall on hard times during the 2011-12 campaign after posting career highs (78 games, 6G-9A-15PTS) in 2010-11.

He missed the final 35 games of last season with an ACL injury in his right knee, the second major knee injury of his career (he suffered similar ligament damage prior to the 2009 World Juniors while playing an exhibition game for Team Canada.)

That said, the Lightning though enough of Tyrell’s game to sign him to a two-year, $1.2 million deal last season, one that will keep him in Tampa Bay through 2014.

Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said what Tyrell brings to the ice is vital to his team’s success.

“I strongly believe that any team that does well has a lot of good foot soldiers, and he’s definitely one of those guys,” Boucher told the Lightning website. “People will label players as a hitter, a fighter, a scorer or a passer. There’s one type of individual we never label and they are puck retrievers. They’re probably the most important guys in the game.

“That’s what [Tyrell] does best. If he’s not able to play, it’s less pucks for the team, for sure.”

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