Tampa Bay has inked Radko Gudas to a three-year, one-way contract.
Financial terms were not immediately made available. The hard-hitting defenseman appeared in 22 games with the Lightning this past season, while posting two goals, five points, 38 penalty minutes and a plus-3 rating. Gudas was also credited with 87 hits.
There's been some speculation in Tampa that the Lightning may buy out the remainder of Ryan Malone's contract.
He has two years left on his current deal at a $4.5 million cap hit. However, GM Steve Yzerman wasn't willing to discuss his thought process just yet. "We'll spend the next month figuring out our plan," Yzerman said. "I'm not really concerned with where we are with the cap. It's not going to be an issue for us as far as what we want to do."
Tampa Bay Lightning sign Nikita Nesterov to three-year entry-level contract.
Nesterov spent the past three season playing in the KHL after the Lightning drafted him in the fifth round in 2011. Nesterov had one assist, 14 penalty minutes and a plus-6 rating in 35 regular-season games for Chelyabinsk Traktor this season.
Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman said there will be changes to the team's roster for next season.
"Our group will change, how dramatically I'm not prepared to say yet, but we'll explore options as far as improving the areas we feel need to be addressed," Yzerman said. "We have players coming up from Syracuse (of the American Hockey League) next year that will have an opportunity to make this team. So, things will be different; they need to be different." The Lightning had the two top scorers in the league, with Martin St. Louis winning the Art Ross Trophy and Steve Stamkos finishing just one point behind him, but they failed to make the playoffs. New coach Jon Cooper is expected to have a say in the personnel moves after assessing the team after he took over for Guy Boucher.
Steve Stamkos had an MRI on his knee Sunday, but GM Steve Yzerman said it showed "nothing of significance."
The Tampa sniper felt he hyperextended his knee slightly on a hit he put on Florida defenseman Filip Kuba late in the third period of Saturday's finale. He will fly to Sweden Tuesday to play for Canada at the world championship.