The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent right wing Michel Ouellet (wuh-LEHT) to a one-year, two-way contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced. The forward also played for the Lightning during the 2007-08 season.
Ouellet, 6-foot, 203 pounds, has spent the previous two seasons in Europe. Last year he played in 39 games for the Hamburg Freezers of the German Elite League, notching 11 goals and 28 points. He ranked fourth on the team in points and was also tied for third for assists and fourth for goals. In 2009-10, Ouellet skated for Fribourg-Gotteron of the Swiss Elite League, recording a goal and five points in 11 games.
A native of Rimouski, Quebec, Ouellet has played in 190 career NHL games with the Lightning, Pittsburgh Penguins and Vancouver Canucks. During that time he has amassed 52 goals, 27 power-play goals and 116 points. Ouellet played in 64 games with Tampa Bay during the 2007-08 season, registering 17 goals and 36 points, both the second-highest totals of his career. That season he led the Bolts in plus/minus rating with a plus-11 and was fourth in goals. Ouellet has played in five Stanley Cup Playoff games, all with Pittsburgh in 2007, notching two assists.
Originally drafted by the Penguins in the fourth round, 124th overall, at the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Ouellet has played in 228 career AHL games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and the Manitoba Moose, amassing 84 goals and 184 points during his AHL career. In 2003-04, his first in the league, Ouellet finished first among rookies with 30 goals and fifth among first-year players with 49 points to lead his team in both categories. He has also played in 33 career Calder Cup Playoff games, recording four goals and 17 points.
Ouellet played four junior seasons for the Rimouski Oceanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. In 224 career games with the Oceanic, Ouellet tallied 125 goals and 299 points.