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Lightning retain Sustr on one-year contract

Friday, 07.04.2014 / 10:53 AM / NHL Free Agency 2014

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Lightning retain Sustr on one-year contract
Defenseman Andrej Sustr has signed a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the team announced Friday.

Defenseman Andrej Sustr has signed a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the team announced Friday.

Sustr was a restricted free agent, and it is a one-way contract. The 23-year-old had one goal and eight points in 43 games for the Lightning last season. He saw the lowest percentage of offensive-zone starts of any of Tampa Bay's seven defensemen who played at least 20 games, but did manage a Corsi-for percentage of 50.5 percent at even strength.

He was one of the top undrafted college free agents available in March 2013 after three seasons at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. The 6-foot-8 defenseman played in three of Tampa Bay's four Stanley Cup Playoff games last season.

The Lightning added veteran defensemen Jason Garrison and Anton Stralman this offseason, so Sustr may have to compete with Mark Barberio and Eric Brewer for regular playing time behind those two, Victor Hedman, Matthew Carle and Radko Gudas when everyone is healthy.

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Hopefully [Jonathan] has a year that pushes us, that is the organization, to speak to him next summer and looking for [a long-term contract]. Because the thought process is trying to get a goaltender, and hopefully it's Jonathan, to be the stabilizer for this franchise.

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