Sunday, July 01, 2007

Tampa Bay signs Michel Ouellet

The Lightning have signed Michel Ouellet to a two-year contract. Listen to what Tampa GM Jay Feaster says about him (from the Lightning web site):
"Michel Ouellet is a goal scorer and has been throughout every level of his career. He is extremely effective on the power play and he has a knack for burying his chances in the offensive zone. We feel his game is best suited to playing in a top-two line role and he will get that opportunity in Tampa. The fact he played junior hockey with Brad Richards in Rimouski is a real plus, as we believe there will be good chemistry between the two, and he knows how to win. For all of these reasons we feel strongly that Michel is the right fit for our hockey team."
I'll agree that he's a force on the power play, and that he has that offensive knack for burying chances, but a top two line player? In the new NHL? I'm not so sure about that. I hope he does well, but I think the Lightning will grow weary with the lack of speed and lack of fore checking.

UPDATE: The deal was for $1.2 in year one and $1.3 in year two. That's more than Ray Shero was willing to pay, and reasonably so, I believe. Michel would have been a restricted free agent had the Pens made a qualifying offer to him of only $550,000. I think this was a case of Shero simply not wanting Ouellet.


Teej said...

FYI - the Pens have signed Petr Sykora and Darryl Sydor to 2-year contracts (I think that was the term). This is a great pickup which isn't a huge hit on the salary cap. Sykora could easily have a 70-80 point season playing alongside Crosby or Malkin, and I've always liked Sydor, he'll be of good use on the blueline.

Anonymous said...

As a bolts fan, i think Ouellet was a pretty good pickup. I don't know too much about him, but it sounds to me like he had decent numbers playing with staal and malkin. i thought it was a great price for someone who is only about 25 years old and just about broke the 20 goal mark last season. He sounded really excited to come to the tampa bay area (partly because brad richards is here). As a pens fan, what are your thoughts on him? just wondering

Pat said...

He seemed to be the coach's favorite here (Therrien's first move when he got the head job was to bring up Michel Ouellet from the minors). Ouellet is good at scoring, but he's pretty slow and not as tenacious as you'd like with the forecheck.

Therrien loved him, however, and always said that Ouellet did all the little things very well.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your feedback! Yeah, i heard from the st. petersburg times, our local paper, that his skating was one thing he could improve on. Ouellet stated in the paper that tampa bay was always one of his first choices to come to, and that's a good sign- the fact that he wants to play here. We just lost eric perrin, who wouldn't always seem to bury his chances (he hit the post a lot), to atlanta. Is ouellet good at burying his chances when they come? He seems like he's pretty good on the PP.