Zach Bogosian signed a one-year, $1.3 million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday.
"Over the last few weeks we've suffered a few injuries to some defensemen and that had me look into right-shot defenseman to kind of shore up our right side," Tampa Bay general manager Julie BriseBois said Monday. "We explored a number of possibilities, and in the last few days Zach Bogosian ended up being a free agent all of a sudden and he became an option for us. Obviously we didn't have to give up any assets to acquire his services. The [NHL salary cap space] was very affordable for us at this point. Zach wasn't worried about what he was going to get paid, he wanted to be in an environment where he has a chance to win a Stanley Cup. We're a contender, and with him we're a better team. He's another guy that brings us some physicality and size (6-foot-3, 226 pounds) on the back end."
The defenseman, was suspended by the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 17 for failing to report to Rochester of the American Hockey League after he cleared waivers. He was placed on unconditional waivers on Feb. 21 with the intention of terminating his contract.
"He's motivated by the fact that he just got his contract terminated, he cleared waivers," BriseBois said. "He's motivated because he gets to come to a team that's a contender and he might win [the] Stanley Cup. He hasn't played in a playoff game I believe, He's going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. All these factors contribute to him being a motivated player."
Bogosian, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, had five points (one goal, four assists) in 19 games for Buffalo this season.
"Obviously he had the hip surgery (during the offseason) and you never know how quickly you're going to recover from any surgery. But I know he's been skating," BriseBois said. "I know he's going to be a good complement to our players, and come playoff time I think his style of play is going to be a good asset for us on the back end."
Selected by the Atlanta Thrashers in the first round (No. 3) of the 2008 NHL Draft, the 29-year-old has 194 points (53 goals, 141 assists) in 636 regular-season games with the Thrashers, Winnipeg Jets and Sabres. He has never played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.