Lightning sign Brewer, Jones

"Bite my shiny metal ass, NHL Free Agency!" -- Eric "Brewbot" Brewer has been re-signed by the Tampa Bay Lightning. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images)

You may have already heard the news today, but defenseman Eric Brewer has been re-signed by the Tampa Bay Lightning, avoiding unrestricted free agency.  The deal is gauged to run four years and be worth close to $16 million.

Brewbot turned heads after his acquisition in February, stepping in as a solid top-four defenseman.  Guy Boucher was awestruck by his play and called Brewer the team's best defenseman.

Also announced this afternoon was the signing of forward Blair Jones to a one-year, two-way contract.  Jones has played mostly in the AHL during his career thus far, but he turned heads and impressed when called upon to play during the 2011 NHL Playoffs.  He'll get another shot to make the Bolts on the 3rd or fourth lines in September.

With Brewer back in the fold, the team still needs to make decisions on Randy Jones, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Mike Lundin and Matt Smaby.  Smaby and Ludin are both restricted free agents, while Jones and Bergeron are unrestricted.

And of course, everyone is waiting for word on Steven Stamkos contract signing.  There is no fresh news to report, other than Stamkos' public confidence that a deal will get done.  

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