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Vladislav Namestnikov signs with Lightning

Forward avoids arbitration with two-year contract worth $1.9 million per season @NHLdotcom

Forward Vladislav Namestnikov signed a two-year, $3.875 million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday. It has an average annual value of about $1.9 million.

Namestnikov, 23, who was a restricted free agent, was scheduled to have an arbitration hearing in Toronto on Friday. Last season, he had 35 points (14 goals, 21 assists) in 80 regular-season games and three points in 17 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

"[Namestnikov] pretty much became a regular in the lineup [last season]," Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman told the Tampa Bay Times. "He's very versatile. Ultimately we see his best position is in the middle, at center, but he can play in all positions and he has the ability to play on both special teams as well. We're pleased with the step he took last year, we expect him to continue with that."

In three seasons with the Lightning, Namestnikov has 51 points (23 goals, 28 assists) and 62 penalty minutes in 127 regular-season games, and four points in 29 playoff games.

The Lightning also avoided an arbitration hearing with restricted free agent Alex Killorn, signing him to a seven-year contract with an average annual value of $4.45 million on July 17.


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