By: Adam Gretz
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mattias Ohlund opened the season on injured reserve due to a knee injury, and according to multiple reports, is set to have both knees scoped and could miss the next four-to-six weeks.
Ohlund, 35, joined the Lightning prior to the 2009-10 season when he signed a seven-year, $25 million contract.
Two years in and it's looking to be a disappointing investment for Tampa Bay, at least from an offensive perspective, as his production has steadily decreased over the past couple of years. Add in the combination of him turning 35 last month with the fact he needs to have some work done on both of his knees and it isn't exactly encouraging.
In his two years with the Lightning he's yet to score a goal in 139 games, while recording just 18 assists. By comparison, in his final year with Vancouver during the 2008-09 season, the year before he signed with the Lightning, he scored six goals and was credited with 19 assists, and had scored at least nine goals in each of the previous four seasons. One of the biggest differences in his role with the Lightning is that he's been seeing significantly less time on the power play in recent years, but overall there's still been a decline.
Going all the way back to the 2007-08 season and his point-per-game average has followed a steady downward trend: 2007-08 (.040), 2008-09 (.030), 2009-10 (.019), 2010-11 (.007).
Still, even with the decline to his offensive game it is a blow to Tampa Bay's lineup as he is still a very solid contributor defensively for the Lightning and was a valuable player during last year's playoff run to the Eastern Conference Finals. Lightning beat writer Erik Erlendsson insists this won't put the Lightning in the trade market for another defenseman and will instead move forward with the players they already have on the roster, including Victor Hedman, Eric Brewer, Pavel Kubina and Brett Clark.
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