TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed defenseman Doug Janik to a one-year, two-way contract, Executive Vice President & General Manager Jay Feaster announced.
Janik, a 6-foot-1, 209-pound native of Agawam, Massachusetts, played his first full NHL season with Tampa Bay in 2006-07 after earning a roster spot during training camp. He finished the season with two goals and 11 points in 75 games. Janik averaged 14:28 of ice time per game last season and ranked fourth among Lightning defensemen in blocked shots with 98. He scored his first NHL goal on January 2 at Montreal and recorded his first point on November 22 at Florida. Janik also played in one Stanley Cup Playoff game. He is a veteran of 85 regular season games and six playoff games with the Lightning and the Buffalo Sabres.
"We have been trying to sign Doug Janik since our season ended prematurely in late April; however, the issue was and has always been that we were not prepared to offer him a one-way contract,” Feaster said. “While we obviously lost a pair of defensemen this summer, the fact remained that when we acquired Shane O'Brien at the trade deadline last year Doug became the odd-man out of the lineup. We have every confidence that Doug can and will compete hard in camp to win a job on our blue line, but we felt the need to protect our downside in the event one of our other players jumped over him and grabbed the final spot.
“Doug tested the free agency market and received quite a few two-way offers. Inasmuch as he knows our system, he has a head coach who knows him and likes him and is comfortable with him, and because he believes in our organization and the way we do business through the merit system, he elected to come back to Tampa rather than sign elsewhere. We are thrilled that he is back in the fold and we look forward to having him in training camp competing for a spot."
Janik, 27, played in 376 games with Rochester of the American Hockey League in five seasons and scored 18 goals while recording 91 points. He registered a plus-41 rating, four power-play goals and one shorthanded goal in his AHL career. An alumnus of the University of Maine, Janik has appeared in 30 AHL playoff games and has scored one goal while adding four assists. In 2002 he was nominated for the Timex Ironman Player Award by the Professional Hockey Players’ Association and became the first Rochester defenseman in since 1984-85 to play in all 80 regular season games. Following the season he was also named the team’s Rookie of the Year, Most Improved Player and Unsung Hero.
Janik played in 13 games with the United States at the World Junior Championships in 1999 and 2000. He served as the Captain for the University of Maine Black Bears for the 1999-00 and 2000-01 seasons and was named to the 2000-01 NCAA All-East Regional Team. During the 1999-00 season Janik was a member of the New England Hockey Writers Association All-Star Team and was a runner-up for the best defensive defenseman in Hockey East. He also won a National Championship with Maine in 1999.
He was selected by Buffalo in the second round, 55th overall, at the 1999 NHL Entry Draft and was originally signed by the Lightning on July 6, 2006.