Lightning Extend Qualifying Offers to Six Players

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.

Players receiving qualifying offers were forwards Brett Connolly, Cody Kunyk, Richard Panik, and Philippe Paradis. Defensemen Dmitry Korobov and Andrej Sustr also received qualifying offers.

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 Deals Nate Thompson to Anaheim for Picks

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.

Lightning Send Gagner, Crombeen to Arizona for 2015 6th Round Pick

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired a sixth-round pick at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for forwards Sam Gagner and B.J. Crombeen, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

The Lightning acquired Gagner this evening from the Edmonton Oilers. Crombeen played in 99 games with Tampa Bay during two seasons, recording four goals and 18 points with 191 penalty minutes.

Reports have surfaced that the Lightning are retaining one-third of Gagner's salary as part of the deal.

Bolts Trade Teddy Purcell to Edmonton for Sam Gagner

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have traded forward Teddy Purcell to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for forward Sam Gagner, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced tonight.

Gagner, 5-foot-11, 202 pounds, has played in 481 career games with Edmonton, recording 101 goals and 295 points. He was drafted first overall, in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Purcell, 6-foot-3, 203 pounds, has played in 310 games with the Lightning since being acquired from the Los Angeles Kings on March 3, 2010. During his career in Tampa Bay he accumulated 67 goals and 203 points. Purcell also played in 22 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Bolts, recording seven goals and 18 points.

2014 Draft: 7th Round, 185th Overall

Name: Cameron Darcy
Position: Center
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 192 lbs
Club: Cape Breton QMJHL

Strengths:
Well seasoned overage prospect has taken the long route through North American junior hockey on the way to being drafted. Darcy's stops include playing with the Dexter School in Massachussetts prep hockey, the USNTDP, Northeastern University, the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL, and Cape Breton of the QMJHL. Along the way, he won a U18 WJC Gold Medal with Team USA. This year, he led the Screaming Eagles in scoring and plays a balanced all-around game. Plays a pro-style, north-south, shoot-first style of hockey. Above average hands in tight.

Weaknesses:
Needs to improve his skating and his upper body strength.

Projection:
Checking liner and minor league depth.

Comparable:
Alex Killorn Lite

2014 Draft: 6th Round, 170th Overall

Name: Cristiano DiGiacinto
Position: Left Wing
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 186 lbs
Club: Windsor (OHL)

Strengths:
Mean, agitating winger gets under his opponent's skin. Has some ability to pass and shoot the puck, but his primary task is to get the other team off their game. Classic lower line checker is at his best when the other team is trying to strangle him.

Weaknesses:
Late bloomer struggled to be picked up by a junior team until this past season. Below average skater, particularly in terms of his acceleration.

Projection:
Fourth line agitator

Comparable:
Zac Rinaldo

2014 Draft: 4th Round, 119th Overall

Name: Ben Thomas
Position: Defense
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 190 lbs
Club: Calgary (WHL)

Strengths:
Assertive, aggressive player at both ends of the ice. Strong upper body with a high compete level. Excellent puck handler with the much coveted righty shot who loves to jump in the play. Loves to jump in the play, but responsible enough not to get caught for odd man rushes the other way. High compete level.

Weaknesses:
Poor backward skater with mediocre lateral agility compounded by poor reads and hockey sense in the defensive third.

Projection: #5 defenseman

Comparisons: Cody Franson

2014 Draft: 3rd Round, 80th Overall

Name: Brayden Point
Position: Center
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 160 lbs
Club: Moose Jaw (WHL)

Strengths:
Dynamic puckhandler with top notch creativity and playmaking skills. Well above average hockey sense and soft hands in tight around the net. Shifty, darting, hard to catch and even harder to stop.

Weaknesses:
Tiny, and at 160 lbs lacks the strength to stand up to the rigors of the pro game. Questionable whether his frame can support putting the bulk on he needs.

Projection:
Second line scoring center or AHL/European league scoring champ.

Comparisons:
Valtteri Filppula

2014 Draft: 2nd Round, 57th Overall

Name: Johnathan MacLeod
Position: Defense
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 200 lbs
Club: USNTDP

Strengths:
Lots of pro tools. Big, mobile rearguard has NHL athleticism and has barely scratched his potential. Shows willingness to take the body and a big point shot. Will develop in a strong program at Boston University.

Weaknesses:
Raw. Very raw. Positionally unpolished in the defensive zone. Unrefined offensively and can tend to make a sloppy outlet pass.

Projection:
Project defenseman with top-4 ceiling.

Comparisons:
Ben Lovejoy

2014 Draft: 2nd Round, 35th Overall

Name: Dominik Masin (pronounced "Machine")
Position: Defense
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 189 lbs
Club: Slavia Praha (CZE)

Strengths:
Mobile skater with a nice, projectable frame that will fill out even more. Already strong and well schooled positionally. Manages his gap control well and closes out his marks physically. Shows some ability to handle the puck and jump into the play and is fairly unflappable under duress.

Weaknesses:
Had a slow start to the 2013-2014 campaign and performed better overall for country than he did for club. Although he has some offensive tools, he's not a power play quarterback at this point in his career. Sometimes struggles giving and receiving passes.

Projection:
#4/5 Defenseman

Comparisons:
Travis Hamonic

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