The Lightning have brought a goaltender into the fold for next season, but The Tampa Tribune says the search for a potential No. 1 will continue.
Tampa Bay has signed former first-round draft pick Riku Helenius to a two-year contract. The deal will be announced today, Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said in a text message.
The first year of the deal is a two-way that pays him a different salary at the NHL level or in the minors while the second year is a one-way deal that pays him $650,000 no matter which level he plays, according to RDS television out of Montreal. Yzerman confirmed the deal is a two-way for 2012-13 while the 2013-14 season would be on a one-way.
Helenius, 24, was selected 15th overall in the 2006 draft. He spent parts of two seasons with the Lightning, making his NHL debut playing 20 minutes in relief during the 2008-09 season before leaving during the 2009-10 season to return to Europe. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound native of Finland led his Finnish team, JYP, to a league championship this season.
Though Helenius is back in the mix, it still leaves the Lightning with only Mathieu Garon as the only goaltender with extensive NHL experience. Tampa Bay also has Dustin Tokarski, who helped lead Norfolk to a championship in the American Hockey League, under contract for next season as well as Pat Nagle.
Yzerman is still expected to be in the market for a goaltender heading into the summer, whether via a trade or in free agency to help fill the No. 1 role.