The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed left wing Mitch Fritz to a two-way contract, Executive Vice President and General Manager Jay Feaster announced today.
"We are very pleased to have Mitch under contract for another season. As we have told him in the past, if he is able to continue to improve his skating and demonstrate the ability to contribute consistently on an every shift basis, he will become an NHL regular," Feaster said. "He is, pound for pound, one of the strongest players in professional hockey and he creates room for his teammates every time he steps on the ice. We need that type of physical presence in Tampa and we look forward to seeing Mitch in camp and determining whether he has continued to elevate his overall game to the NHL level."
Fritz, 6-foot-8, 258-pounds, played in 69 games with the Lightning's top affiliate, the Springfield Falcons, in 2005-06. He scored six goals and added five assists while leading the team in penalty minutes with 212. He was also named winner of Yanick Durpé Award as the American Hockey League's Man of the Year for his contributions to his local community and charitable organizations.
A native of Osoyoos, British Columbia, Fritz has played in 160 career games in the AHL with Springfield, Worcester, Milwaukee, St. John, Hamilton and Lowell. He has scored 10 career goals and recorded 18 points with 525 penalty minutes. He has also appeared in 184 East Coast Hockey League games and scored 13 goals with 36 points.
Fritz, 25, signed with the Lightning as a free agent on August 5, 2005.