The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned goaltender Riku Helenius to the Admirals from their ECHL affiliate, the Augusta Lynx, Admirals General Manager Mike Butters announced on Sunday.
Helenius, a 6-foot-3, 202-pound goaltender from Palkane, Finland, appeared in two preseason games for the Admirals, going 1-1-0 with a 4.00 goals-against average and .840 save percentage. He did not play in a regular season game with Norfolk prior to being reassigned to Augusta on October 16.
The 20-year-old went 3-4-1 in his first eight games of North American professional hockey with the Lynx this season, posting a 4.41 goals-against average and .874 save percentage. He recorded his first pro win in his pro debut, stopping 44 of 46 shots on October 21 at Gwinnett.
Helenius was originally drafted in the first round (15th overall) by Tampa Bay in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned defenseman Matt Smaby to the Admirals, it was announced today by Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Brian Lawton.
Smaby, a 6-5, 220-pound native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, was recalled on November 27 and served as a healthy scratch November 28 at Minnesota. He has skated in 17 games with Norfolk this season, recording a goal, two assists and 22 penalty minutes. The 24-year-old has appeared in 141 career AHL games with Norfolk and Springfield, tallying four goals, 21 assists and 131 penalty minutes.
Downie, who was recently acquired in the Steve Eminger deal, has 1 goal and 13 points to go with 51 penalty minutes in 10 AHL games this season between Norfolk and Philadelphia. The forward also appeared in six scoreless games amassing 11 penalty minutes for the Flyers prior to being dealt to the Lightning. The pesky winger has appeared in 38 career NHL games with 6 goals, 12 points, and 84 penalty minutes.
Smaby has 1 goal and 3 points in 17 games with Norfolk this season to go along with 22 penalty minutes. The stay-at-home defenseman played well with Tampa Bay down the stretch of last season and has played 14 career NHL games with 12 penalty minutes.
Both players offer to raise the grit and intensity level of a Lightning club recently accused of lacking those elements by Head Coach Rick Tocchet.
Lightning GM Brian Lawton announced today that goaltending prospect Karri Ramo has been reassigned from Tampa Bay to the Norfolk Admirals (AHL). The Admirals resume play Wednesday night against the Springfield Falcons at home. Ramo was recalled after Saturday's Norfolk game and played in relief of starter Olaf Kolzig in Sunday night's game against the New Jersey Devils.
This bit of news went overlooked last Friday on trash day, but the Tampa Bay Lightning reassigned overaged prospect defenseman Janne Niskala to Frolunda of the Swedish Elite League on November 14.
Niskala cleared waivers on November 6 and had been loaned to the Norfolk Admirals while the Lightning awaited the European leagues to return from a break in play, but Niskala did not report to the Admirals per an arrangement with Lightning GM Brian Lawton. Niskala had a clause in his contract that allowed him to be reassigned to a European team in the event he could not stick with the NHL roster. The signing of free agent defensemen Marek Malik resulted in Niskala being a consistent healthy scratch, promptly the player to ask Lawton for a European reassignment.
Niskala joins a Frolunda team that earlier in the SEL season released fellow Bolt overaged defensive prospect Andreas Holmqvist, who has subsequently joined Djurgardens.