The Canucks said goodbye Wednesday to a premiere defensemen who had been apart of their organization for 12 glorious seasons, Mattias Ohlund. Ohlund signed a 7 year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning for 26.25$ million that will see him likely finish his career in the sunshine state.
Ohlund has spent his entire career with the Canucks after he was drafted 13th overall by them in 1994. During that time Ohlund has been on rock for the Canucks with 93 goals and 232 assists in 770 games played.
Ohlund will move from the role of premiere defensemen to the role of mentor as he will be looked upon to tutor fellow Swede Victor Hedman.
"We are thrilled Mattias elected to sign with the Tampa Bay Lightning today," said Lightning GM Brian Lawton in a statement.
"With so many options in front of him, having him elect to play in Tampa demonstrates the faith he has in our team's strategy and vision for success, which should be exciting for our fans. This signing accomplished two primary goals for us. First, we have added the top-two defenseman we coveted to lead our blue line and second, we have found a leader and a mentor for Victor Hedman as he prepares to play in the NHL this fall."
Ohlund proved to be a real force both offensively and defensively as well as being very dependable logging almost 30 minutes of ice time per game in 81 games last season. Ohlund was also a member of Sweden in 2006 when they captured the gold medal. Ohlund leaves Vancouver as the team’s all-time leading goal scorer among defensemen.