Lightning sign Eddie Shore Award winner

The Tampa Bay Lightning, parent club of the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals, today signed free agent defenseman Andrew Hutchinson to a two-year contract.

Hutchinson played in 67 games with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack last season while serving as the team’s captain. He recorded 18 goals, 64 points and 13 power-play goals, leading all Wolf Pack defensemen in those categories. He ranked second overall on the team in assists (46), plus/minus (+28) and power-play goals, third in points and was tied for fifth in goals.

A native of Evanston, Ill., Hutchinson paced all AHL defensemen in points and assists, and he also ranked third in goals. At the end of the regular season, Hutchinson was named a First-Team AHL All-Star and earned the Eddie Shore Award as the league’s most outstanding defenseman.

The 6-2, 200-pound Hutchinson also set Wolf Pack franchise defensemen records for goals and points in a season and tied the mark for assists. He became the first Wolf Pack defenseman in the team’s 11-year history to record a hat trick on Feb. 8 and had the first five-point game by a Hartford blueliner on Feb. 29. Hutchinson added two goals and four points in five Calder Cup Playoff games with Hartford.

Hutchinson, 28, has recorded 160 points (49-111-160) in 257 career AHL games with the Milwaukee Admirals and Hartford. He participated in the 2004 AHL All-Star Game and helped Milwaukee to the Calder Cup championship that same year.

Hutchinson has also appeared in 95 career NHL games with Carolina and Nashville, accumulating 33 points (10-23-33) and winning the 2006 Stanley Cup championship as a member of the Hurricanes.

Originally drafted in the second round (54th overall) by Nashville in 1999, Hutchinson played four seasons at Michigan State University, totaling 78 points (19-59-78) in 159 career games. He was named a Second-Team All-American following his senior season in 2001-02.