The Tampa Bay Lightning
avoided arbitration with center Nate Thompson
by re-signing him to a one-year contract on Friday. The restricted free agent had been scheduled for an arbitration hearing on July 22. No financial terms were disclosed.
"We are pleased to get Nate signed to his contract today, thereby avoiding the arbitration process," General Manager Steve Yzerman
said. "He will add depth up front for us and getting the contract signing behind him allows Nate to focus on conditioning and preparations for training camp. We are happy to have him back."
Thompson, 6-foot, 207 pounds, played in 32 games with the Lightning last season after being claimed off waivers from the New York Islanders
on Jan. 21, 2010, recording 1 goal and 4 points. He also stood out in the faceoff circle, winning 219 of 385 draws (56.9 percent). Before joining the Lightning, Thompson had registered 1 goal and 6 points with 39 games with New York.
Between Tampa Bay and New York, he set career highs for assists with 8, points with 10 and tied his career high with 2 goals.
The native of Anchorage, Alaska, has played in 118 career NHL games with the Lightning, Islanders and Boston Bruins
, notching 4 goals and 14 points with 105 penalty minutes. He has averaged 12 minutes per game or more in each of the previous two seasons.
Thompson has played in 216 career AHL games with the Providence Bruins, amassing 35 goals and 80 points during his AHL career. He served as alternate captain for Providence in 2007-08. Thompson has also played in 16 career Calder Cup Playoff games, recording two assists.
Thompson was drafted by the Bruins in the sixth round (No. 183), of the 2003 Entry Draft. He played junior hockey for the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL before making his professional debut with Providence in the 2005 Atlantic Division Finals.