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Lightning continue to solidify roster; re-sign Downie, ink Jones

The Tampa Bay Lightning announced a pair of moves today -- one that people were waiting ever so impatiently for (but growing worried aobut) and a surprise move that have left some scratching their heads.

The signing of Steve Downie to a two-year contract is the one RFA signing that fans were anxiously waiting for.  Steve's passion and budding offensive touch has helped increase his growing legion of fans on the Lightning...  Even if he hasn't shed his bad-boy image from teh past.

The second move today has me scratching my head: signing defenseman Randy Jones  to a one-year deal and increasing the number of D-men vying for a roster spot in camp.


Randy Jones

#12 / Defenseman / Los Angeles Kings

6-2

200

Jul 23, 1981


From the press release:

Randy is a skilled defenseman, capable of playing in all situations on both the right and left side," Yzerman said. "His addition gives us some needed depth on the blue line."

It appears Randy will be part of the competition for a reserve defensive slot, as the Bolts are likely to carry eight defensemen. This raises the bar for on-the-cusp defensemen such as Matt Lashoff, Vladmir Mihalik, and even Matt Smaby. They are really going to have to prove they belong not just in the NHL but the system being employed.

Maybe the move isn't as head-scartching after all?  Depth is depth.  And Jones has proved he can play int he NHL...