I finally had the chance to make it out to the Ice Sports Forum to catch up with some of the attendees and observe a good chunk of the 3v3 action. Following are some brief impressions and takeaways from my time at the rink:
TAMPA BAY –The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent goaltender Evgeni Nabokov to a one-year contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Nabokov, 6-foot, 202 pounds, played in 40 games for the New York Islanders last season, posting a 15-14-8 record with four shutouts, a .905 save percentage and a 2.74 goals-against average. He led the Islanders for games played, wins, GAA, save percentage and shutouts.
A native of Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan, Nabokov is one of the most established goaltenders in the NHL. He has played in 686 games with the Islanders and the San Jose Sharks. Nabokov posts an all-time record of 350-221-98 with a .912 save percentage, a 2.43 GAA and 59 shutouts. He was a Vezina Trophy finalist as the NHL’s top goaltender in 2007-08. Nabokov has appeared in 86 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, posting a 42-42 record with seven shutouts, a .908 save percentage and a 2.43 GAA.
Nabokov, 38, was drafted by San Jose in the ninth round, 219th overall, at the 1994 NHL Entry Draft
TAMPA BAY –The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent center Brian Boyle to a three-year contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Boyle, 6-foot-7, 244 pounds, played in all 82 games with the New York Rangers in 2013-14, recording six goals and 18 points with a plus-1 rating. He was second on New York for hits with 154 and second among forwards with more than 500 draws taken for face-off percentage with 52.9 percent. Boyle also played in all 25 Stanley Cup Playoff games for the Rangers, helping them to the Stanley Cup Final. He recorded three goals and eight points during this year’s postseason.
A native of Hingham, Massachusetts, Boyle has played in 391 career NHL games with the Rangers and the Los Angeles Kings, recording 52 goals and 100 points along with 311 penalty minutes. He has played the previous five seasons in New York.
Boyle was drafted by the Kings in the first round, 26th overall, at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He played college hockey at Boston College prior to joining the professional ranks.
Here's the two groupings for the Tampa Bay Prospect Development Camp that starts Wednesday, July 3 and continues through the weekend.
Forwards (8): DiGiacinto, Drouin, Erne, Point, Richard, Salminen, Smith, Vermin
Defense (5): Blujus, Curran, MacLeod, Renouf, Thomas
Goaltending (2): Vasilevsky, Witt
Forwards (7): Costello, Darcy, Hart, Ikonen, Maclise, O'Donnell, Robinson
Defense (6): DeAngelo, Dotchin, Koekkoek, Masin, Milan
Goaltending (2): Gudlevskis, Wilcox
TAMPA BAY –The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed right wing Mike Blunden to a one-year, two-way contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Blunden, 6-foot-4, 216 pounds, played in seven games with the Montreal Canadiens in 2013-14. He spent the majority of the season with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League with 18 goals and 37 points. Blunden ranked third on the Bulldogs for points and second for goals.
A native of Toronto, Ontario, Blunden has appeared in 102 NHL games with Montreal, the Columbus Blue Jackets and Chicago Blackhawks. He has recorded four goals and eight points during his NHL career, which also includes one playoff game with the Canadiens in 2013. Blunden has played in 379 career AHL games with Hamilton, the Syracuse Crunch, Rockford IceHogs and Norfolk Admirals, posting 83 goals and 187 points.
Blunden was drafted by Chicago in the second round, 43rd overall, at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
TAMPA BAY –The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent defenseman Anton Stralman (STROHL-muhn, AN-tawn) to a five-year contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announce.
Stralman, 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, spent the previous three seasons with the New York Rangers. Last season he recorded a goal and 13 points with a plus-9 in 81 games in New York. Stralman averaged 19:24 in ice time per game in 2013-14 which ranked fourth on the team. His 12 assists and 104 shots on goal were third among all Ranger defensemen. Stralman helped New York to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final, playing in 25 postseason contests. He recorded five assists and averaged 21:03 in ice time per game, while his plus-4 rating was second among Ranger blue-liners.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed forward Mike Angelidis to a one-year, two-way contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Angelidis, 29, skated in 75 games with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League last season, recording 12 goals and 33 points to go along with 161 penalty minutes. He ranked second on the Crunch for penalty minutes and fifth for points. Angelidis has been captain of the Crunch since the beginning of the 2012-13 season.
The Woodbridge, Ontario native has skated in seven career NHL games, all with the Lightning, posting one goal and five penalty minutes. Angelidis scored his first career NHL goal in his NHL debut on January 24, 2012 against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have issued qualifying offers to six players, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today. There were four players who were not qualified.
The deadline for NHL clubs to issue offers is today. By issuing qualifying offers to the aforementioned players, the Lightning are given the right of the first refusal or draft choice compensation should the player sign an offer sheet with another NHL club.
Players who did not receive qualifying offers are defensemen Keith Aulie and Charles Landry, forward Geoff Walker and goaltender Anders Lindback. They will all become unrestricted free agents tomorrow.
TAMPA BAY –The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired fourth and seventh-round draft picks in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for forward Nate Thompson, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Thompson played in 305 games with the Lightning after being claimed off waivers by Tampa Bay on January 21, 2010. During his career with the Lightning he registered 36 goals and 75 points. He has played in 22 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, all with Tampa Bay in 2011 and 2014, and recorded a goal with four points. Thompson has played in 391 career NHL games with the Lightning, New York Islanders and Boston Bruins. He has registered 39 goals and 85 points with 199 penalty minutes.