Fadden Returned to Lethbridge
Norfolk General Manager Mike Butters announced Thursday that forward Mitch Fadden would not be signed and was returned to WHL Lethbridge. Fadden, who had 89 points in 72 games last year for Lethbridge, was thought to be a lock for an NHL contract this summer. Prior to the new ownership taking over in Tampa, then-Lightning general manager Jay Feaster told Bolt Prospects it was his intention to get Fadden signed this summer, though they were not under any deadline to do so. With the new ownership came a new philosophy for Norfolk, and with key veteran free agent forward additions such as Brandon Bochenski, Zenon Konopka, and Wyatt Smith added to a corp containing Blair Jones, Brandon Segal, Chris Lawrence and the like, there wasn't much room for the offensive development of Fadden.
Returning to the WHL, Fadden's re-addition to the Hurricanes poses roster issues for the WHL club. Fadden is 20, and teams are only allowed to dress up to three 20 year olds (overagers). Currently Lethbridge has four: Fadden, LW Adam Chorneyko, D Mitch Versteeg and D Ben Wright. They can carry more than three on their roster until October 16.
The 'Canes are off to a 5-2 start without Fadden and prized prospect C Zach Boychuk, who has appeared to make the Carolina Hurricanes. They were also expecting back defenseman Luca Sbisa, but due to his good play and injuries in Philadelphia, Sbisa is starting the year as a Flyer.
It's definitely a situation to watch as Fadden - although unlikely - could be dealt to another WHL club.