Bolts ink forwards Alexandre Picard and Ryan Shannon; roster set?

In some early evening news, the Tampa Bay Lightning have added right wing Ryan Shannon, who played last season with the Ottawa Senators, and left wing Alexandre Picard, who had been playing in the AHL. Both players signed one-year contracts, with Picard's contract being two-way.

Shannon is a Boston College alumni, and hails from Connecticut. He's played mostly 3rd line minutes with the Ottawa Senators last season, and his 27 points compares directly to that of departed wing Sean Bergenheim's 29. Does that mean that Shannon will replace Bergenheim on the 3rd line? Remains to be seen. Everything is up in the air and will all be sorted out during training camp.

Shannon does compare, in minutes played, to Bergenheim too. He averaged 12:55 of ice time per-game with the Sens. Tom Pyatt, who was signed by the Bolts yesterday, only averaged 1 minutes of ice time for the Habs.

One other note about Shannon - he plans to donate his brain to science after he dies.

A choice quote form GM Steve Yzerman and a profile video on Shannon is below the jump.

Damian Cristodero at the St. Pete Times has a an article up on the Shannon signing, and GM Steve Yzerman (Jedi Master) has declared that the team is pretty much set with the roster:

"If something unforeseen came along then we will re-evaluate," Yzerman said. "If there is a good player and we can afford to sign him we certainly will explore it. But for now, we have a player (Shannon) who fits into what we’re trying to do and the way we play. So, let's not let this one pass by."

Before anyone says it, it goes without saying that Steven Stamkos and Teddy Purcell need to be signed. And it will happen. But you may see Yzerman's confidence and scratch your head. The Bolts need a top-six wing, though! They've only been adding bit players!

Do they really need to sign someone, though? Or acquire someone?

Pyatt is a bottom line forward, as I brought up above the jump. Shannon is a bottom six forward as well. Doesn't that give the opportunity for someone on the 4th line to be moved up into the top six? Perhaps, a "textbook" forward in Guy Boucher's system, who had already taken shifts on the wing of Vincent Lecavalier?

It would not exactly be a bad thing for Nate Thompson to be considered an answer in the top-six mix: A responsible forward that is willing to do it all, and capable of feeding the scoring wings.

Sound like a stretch? Well, if Shannon, Pyatt, Blair Jones, Mattias Ritola and perhaps Carter Ashton will all be vying for roster spots in September - where do you expect them to be pitted? I'd sooner expect them all to compete for the bottom-six, than for top-line minutes.

Just food for thought... The solution for the top-six is already in the system, and likely played full-time in Tampa last season.

Profile on Ryan Shannon:

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