The Tampa Bay Lightning have announced that the team has re-signed Yanni Gourde to a one-year two-way deal.
[UPDATE: CapFriendly.com is reporting that the contract is $575,000 in the NHL and $100,000 in the AHL with $125,000 guaranteed.]
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward Yanni Gourde to a one-year, two-way contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Gourde, 24, appeared in two games with the Lightning during the 2015-16 regular season, posting an assist and two penalty minutes. Gourde made his NHL debut with the Bolts last season on December 15 against the Toronto Maple Leafs and posted an assist, his first career NHL point. The 5-foot-9, 167-pound forward also played in 65 games with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League last season, recording 14 goals and 44 points to go along with 42 penalty minutes. He ranked fourth on Syracuse for points and assists and was tied for fourth on the club for goals.
The Saint-Narcisse, Quebec native has skated in two career NHL games, all with the Lightning last season, posting an assist. Gourde has also played in 242 career AHL games over five seasons with the Crunch and Worcester Sharks, collecting 58 goals and 150 points. During the 2014-15 season, Gourde led the Crunch for goals with 29 and ranked second for points with 57.
Gourde went undrafted and originally agreed to terms with the Lightning on March 9, 2014.
It has been a bit of a surprise that Gourde has taken this long to re-sign. Last season, he had a significant drop off in his production in Syracuse going from 29 goals and 28 assists for 57 points in 76 games down to 14 goals and 30 assists for 44 points in 65 games. Gourde did earn a call-up for two games with the Lightning when the team was struggling with a multitude of forward injuries. In his two games, he notched his first career assist, had one minor penalty and was a plus-one.
Between his production drop and the delay in getting signed, it’s possible that he was looking at opportunities in Europe for him to play. Instead, Gourde will be given the chance to continue to be one of the top scoring wingers for the Syracuse Crunch this season while being a depth option for the Lightning in the event of injuries. He is firmly behind Tanner Richard and Joel Vermin in the recall pecking order for forwards, but a strong camp and start to the AHL season could see him push past Vermin in the event Tampa needs a winger with more offense to come into the line up.