Depth of the defense is pretty good now, though this is still a decent at best unit going off last year's performances. Clark is going to block a ton of shots which will make Ellis and Smith happy. Ideally he's going to play 17-18 minutes including PK time.
With the signing, Tampa Bay has eight defensemen under contract -- Clark, Pavel Kubina, Mattias Ohlund, Victor Hedman, Matt Walker, Matt Lashoff and Matt Smaby -- and still could sign Mike Lundin and Paul Ranger. With that in mind, Yzerman said it is time to start rounding out the offensive lines, so his concentration will be more focused in that direction
I think this is a good signing. No way could anyone realistically paint this signing as a bad thing. Clark is a great shot blocker and decent in all other areas of the game, and for the leadership and experience he brings $3 million is not a bad price tag.
I also would not say this is the end of the so called Matt Walker era of the Lightning. While he is terribly overpriced, its not a necessity to move him before the season begins. Furthermore, I don't see the fate of Walker having an impact on our season in any way, shape or form. I could however see him being waived before the season begins and when no one claims him, he spend the season in Norfolk.
"In Brett Clark, we are adding an experienced, intelligent defenseman who plays the game efficiently," Yzerman said in a statement. "He'll not only help steady and stabilize our defense, we expect him to help mentor our younger defensemen as they grow and develop. We are pleased he elected to join the Lightning today."
I can honestly say Ive NEVER heard of Clark until yesterday, and I have no idea how thats possible after seeing that comparison to Volchenkov... damn. I hope it turns out to be a great signing and I look forward to seeing my share of blocked shots next season!