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Friday, Aug 22, 2014
Tampa Bay Lightning

Bolts put Connolly, Samson under contract

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— The Lightning continued the summer signing season Thursday, re-signing Brett Connolly and adding depth at forward with Jerome Samson. Each player signed a one-year, two-way contract.

Connolly, 22, was a restricted free agent coming out of his entry-level contract and will have to clear waivers to be sent to the minors this season. He appeared in 68 games as a rookie in 2011-12 but has played in just 16 NHL games in the past two years.

He was a second-team AHL All-Star in 2012-13 after scoring 31 goals, and he finished last season with 21 goals and 57 points in 66 games.

He was called up to Tampa Bay last season when Steven Stamkos went down with a broken leg, but he was sent back to Syracuse after 11 games.

Samson, 26, spent six seasons in the Carolina Hurricanes’ system after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Moncton of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He has appeared in 46 games with Carolina, getting two goals and seven assists.

The 6-foot, 195-pound right wing spent last season with AHL St. John’s (Winnipeg’s farm team), registering 27 goals and 56 points in 68 games. He added three goals and six points in 17 playoff games as St. John’s advanced to the Calder Cup final.

In 424 career games in the AHL, Samson has 160 goals and 336 points.

Erne surgery

Prospect RW Adam Erne had successful wrist surgery to repair a partially torn ligament, the team announced.

Erne, the team’s second-round pick in 2013, is expected to be out 6-8 weeks. That runs right into the start of Lightning rookie camp, which opens Sept. 11. Main training camp is scheduled to open Sept. 18 in Tampa.

Minor-league rules

The AHL Board of Governors approved three new rules for the 2014-15 season that likely will serve as a trial for future use in the NHL.

Overtime will expand from five minutes to seven minutes, with four minutes of 4-on-4 play followed by three minutes of 3-on-3.

If no winner is determined, a three-player shootout — currently utilized by the NHL — will be used.

Also, any player who loses his helmet is subject to a minor penalty unless that player immediately leaves the ice or places the helmet back on and secures the strap.

In an effort to reduce fighting, the AHL will assess a game misconduct for any player who receives two fighting majors in the same game or three major penalties.

eerlendsson@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7835

Twitter: @erlendssonTBO

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