It's the tale of two Finns this holiday season, with one Finnish Bolt knowing where he'll spend Christmas, while another Finnish player is unsure of where his holiday celebrations will take place.
Tampa Bay Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced they have reassigned Bolt prospect goaltender Karri Ramo to the Norfolk Admirals today. The Asikkala, Finland native was on emergency recall to Tampa, backing up Mike Smith for last night's game against the Colorado Avalanche, due to a minor injury to Lightning netminder Olaf Kolzig. Ramo has appeared in one game this season for the Lightning, stopping 15 of 17 shots in relief on November 23 against New Jersey. Ramo has also appeared in 22 games for the Admirals this season posting a 6-11-4 record with a 3.71 goals-against average and a .885 save percentage. He ranks among the top five goaltenders in the American Hockey League in games played, minutes and shots faced.
The St. Petersburg Times is also reporting that the Lightning placed forward Jussi Jokinen on waivers at noon today. The Kalajoki, Finland native was the subject of numerous trade rumors prior to training camp, but played well for the Bolts in the early season with his versatile two-way play at both center and wing. However, Jokinen has been scoreless in his last 15 games and the return of Jeff Halpern from a knee injury suffered last spring coupled with the emerging play of prospect center Paul Szczechura has pushed Jokinen to the fringes of the lineup. Jokinen's future for the holidays will be known by noon on Saturday.
(Norfolk releases) The Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL affiliate of the Norfolk Admirals, have recalled goaltender Karri Ramo from the Admirals on an emergency basis, it was announced today by Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton. The Lightning have also reassigned Admirals captain Zenon Konopka to Norfolk.
Ramo, a 6-foot-2, 207-pound goaltender in his third professional season, has appeared in one game this season for the Lightning, as he relieved Olaf Kolzig on November 23 against New Jersey and did not receive a decision after stopping 15 of 17 shots.
Ahead of the pending return of Lightning center Jeff Halpern and forward Ryan Malone from injury, the Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned prospect forward Radek Smolenak to the Norfolk Admirals in a press release Sunday by Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Brian Lawton.
Smolenak, a 6-foot-3, 183-pound left wing from Prague, Czech Republic, skated in six games with the Lightning after earning his first NHL recall on December 2, recording an assist and 10 penalty minutes while averaging 8:20 in ice time. He made his NHL debut on December 2 at Philadelphia and recorded his first NHL point with an assist in that game.
Smolenak has appeared in 23 games for Norfolk this season, scoring eight goals and 10 assists for 18 points. The 22-year-old remains Norfolk's leader and ranks seventh in the AHL in penalty minutes with 93 PIM.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have announced that defenseman and BoltProspects alumni Mike Lundin has cleared waivers and has been assigned to Norfolk of the AHL.
Personally, so long as Mike doesn't pout in Norfolk, I think this could be a positive for his career, in the long term. When he was originally drafted Lundin was considered to be a young defenseman with some offensive upside. However, in the NHL, he's been asked to play a very simple game as a third pairing blueliner and simply not make mistakes. In Norfolk he should receive over 20 minutes a night including a healthy amount of power play time, which should help flesh out his game and could help him progress from being a #5/6 type defenseman in the NHL to a #3/4 type.
Word on the street is that Chris Gratton has reported to the Admirals and is likely to make his Norfolk debut tonight as well.