Tampa Bay Lightning bring back Artyukhin, agree to deal with veteran Recchi

TAMPA, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Lightning continued their busy off-season, bringing winger Evgeny Artyukhin back from Russia after signing him Tuesday to a US$1.9-million, two-year contract while also agreeing to a deal with veteran winger Mark Recchi.

The Lightning also signed forward Brandon Bochenski to a two-year deal.

Sources confirmed Recchi’s deal will pay him $1.25 million over one year, plus bonuses. The 40-year-old had 48 points (14-34) with Atlanta and Pittsburgh last season.

“Mark Recchi is a guy who we will be counting on both on and off the ice,” vice-president of hockey operations Brian Lawton said in a release. “He is able to play in a top-six forward role, but can also be productive on the third and fourth lines.

“As a two-time Stanley Cup Champion and a great leader, having him in the locker room will help our younger players and also create a strong culture in the dressing room.”

The 25-year-old Artyukhin, despite a new league in his native Russia, has returned to the NHL.

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“We are extremely happy to have Arty back in the fold after playing in Russia the previous two seasons,” Lawton said. “He brings a real unmistakable presence to the ice as soon as he comes over the boards.”

Drafted 94th overall by the Lightning in 2001, the six-foot-five, 254-pound winger played 72 games for the Lightning during the 2005-06 season, collecting 17 points (4-13) and 90 penalty minutes.

The Moscow native split the 2007-08 season between Avangard Omsk and CSKA Moscow, registering 14 points (6-8) and 139 penalty minutes in 42 games.

Bochenski had 13 points (3-10) in 40 games with Boston, Anaheim and Nashville last season.

“Brandon is a proven player at the AHL level with more than 100 games of experience in the NHL,” Lawton said. “Adding him for the next two years continues to address our need to build organizational depth.”