Numerous reports are surfacing today that the Tampa Bay Lightning have waived defensemen Matt Lashoff and Mike Lundin for purposes of reassignment to the Norfolk Admirals. These two transactions represents the final players cut from the Lightning training camp ahead of Wednesday's 23-man roster deadline. Lashoff, a former 1st round pick of the Boston Bruins, was acquired at the 2008-09 trade deadline as the centerpiece for forward Mark Recchi and his subjection to waivers is a bit of a surprise considering his perceived NHL upside.
Vasily Koshechkin allowed 3 goals on 24 shots as Togliatti fell to Nizhnekamsk 4-2. Former NHLer Denis Arkhipov added an empty netter for Nizhnekamsk with 1 second left in the match.
Johan Harju assisted on a Linus Omark goal as Dynamo Moscow defeated Spartak Moscow 5-1. The helper was just Harju's second point of the season.
This leaves the Lightning with 12 forwards, and if plans remain to keep 8 defensemen, one forward spot open for a possible waiver addition.
The Lightning still needs to get down to 23 players, and essentially have to choose two of Lukas Krajicek, Matt Smaby, Matt Lashoff, David Hale, and Mike Lundin. Technically, they could keep three extra defensemen until further roster moves are made to get them down to 8.
BP's guess: Lashoff and Smaby remain due to their one-way contracts, youth, specialties, and upsides. Both would be prime candidates to be plucked off waivers, also. It would seem the best management of assets would be to retain those two.
That, boys and girls, is what a clinic looks like.
Mike Smith allowed 1 goal on 21 shots for the win.
TB 12:11, Konopka 1 (Ranger)
TB 13:08, Stamkos 1 (St. Louis, Lecavalier)(PP)
TB 2:23, St. Louis 1 (Stamkos, Lecavalier)(PP)
ATL 5:40, Thorburn 1 (Salmela, Slater)
TB 7:08, Ohlund 1 (Lecavalier, Tanguay)
TB 12:20, Stamkos 2 (Malone, St. Louis) (PP)
If that was a preview of the regular season, then I'd say that's a pretty resounding statement the Lightning just issued. The Lightning had 3 power play goals and were 3/7 overall with the man advantage. There's no reason for this club not to be top-10 in the league with the man advantage, and it's hard to miss the playoffs when you're that good with the extra man.
Paul Ranger's shoulder must feel ok after playing a team high 22:19. Pretty fascinating ice time distribution in this game among the defensemen with only Ranger going over 20 minutes.
Final cuts are due by Wednesday. Tuesday at noon would be the deadline for the Lightning to place any eligible player who needs to go through waivers on the wire before sending them down to Norfolk.
Steve Downie was -1 with 6 penalty minutes and 1 shot in 10:31.
Drew Miller was scoreless in 13:39.
Zenon Konopka had a goal and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes and 3 shots on goal in 11:37.
James Wright had 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, and 1 hit in 13:32.
Victor Hedman was +1 with 2 blocked shots in 19:49.
Moncton Wildcats 3 @ St. John Sea Dogs 4 (SO)
D Mark Barberio, MCT: 0-1-1, -1, 2 PIM, 0 SOG
Season totals: 4 GP, 0-2-2, +1, 2 PIM
A bit of a slow start statistically for Barberio, who started and finished strong last year around a mid-season slump.
Sointu scored his first OHL goal late in the third, but it wasnâ€™t enough to keep the red-hot and conference-leading Greyhounds from winning their fifth straight to start the season. Kyle DeCoste did not play for the Soo. Itâ€™s possible he was suspended for his match penalty in the previous game.
Sudbury Wolves 4 @ Oshawa Generals 3 (OTO
G Michael Zador, OSH: Did not play.
Season totals: 3 GP, 1-1-1, 5.50 GAA, .842 sv%, 0 SO
After getting pulled in his previous outing, Zador watched from the bench as his back-up, Kevin Ballie, stopped 24 of 28 shots.
A couple of Admirals tryouts are looking like serious contenders to make the team.
Dustin Tokarski allowed 2 goals on 13 shots before giving way to Jaroslav Janus midway through the game. Janus allowed 2 goals on 17 shots for the overtime loss, and now the Lightning will need to make a decision whether to sign the young Slovak to an entry-level deal or send him back to Erie of the OHL for one more season.
Norfolk was outshot 30-27 in the game.
Tommy Goebel has been the story so far in Admirals camp among the tryouts. The diminutive Parma, Ohio native is entering his second year of pro hockey after splitting last season between Wheeling of the ECHL (42 points in 35 games) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL (4 goals and 12 points in 25 games). Goebel played four years in the CCHA split between Michigan State and Ohio State, amassing 54 goals and 115 points in 147 games. Goebel could add more speed to an Admirals lineup that was one of the slowest in the AHL over the past two seasons.
Matt Dias is trying to earn a pro contract after four years with Sudbury of the OHL. Last season Dias had 31 goals and 66 points in 68 games.
Game story from NorfolkAdmirals.com.
Windsor Spitfires 6 @ Owen Sound Attack 3
C Richard Panik, WSR: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM (roughing)
Season Totals: 3 GP, 2-0-2, +1, 2 PIM
Panik had two goals in his opener, but has no points in two games since.
Lethbridge Hurricanes 2 @ Swift Current Broncos 7
RW Carter Ashton, LET: 0-0-0, -5, 2 PIM (hooking)
Not the return to the WHL Lightning first rounder Carter Ashton was hoping for.
The Tampa Bay Lightning has tweeted that they have signed prospect forward James Wright to a three-year entry level contract. Wright has been the surprise of the 2009 Lightning training, flying virtually under the radar after missing the prospect's camp with a groin pull. His play throughout camp and exhibition play has drawn praise from both GM Brian Lawton and head coach Rick Tocchet. Wright's entry level contract is a strong indicator that the Lightning likely intends to carry Wright on the team's NHL roster for upwards of 9 regular season games before making a decision to return him to his WHL junior squad in Vancouver. Wright doesn't turn 20 until March 2010, so an AHL assignment in Norfolk is not an option for the 2008 4th round pick.
Karri Ramo allowed 1 goal on 19 shots as Omsk smoked Togliatti 5-1. Vasily Koshechkin allowed 3 goals on 8 shots in the first period before being pulled for the loss. Former Lightning player Eric Perrin had an assist in the match for Omsk, which also has former NHLer Jaromir Jagr.
Denis Kazionov did not play in Ekaterinburg's 3-2 loss to Chelyabinsk.
Dimitry Kazionov scored his first goal of the season and had 2 shots in 13:06 as Kazan defeated Yulayev 4-3.
Johan Harju was -1 in 14:34 as Dynamo Moscow fell to Novgorod 2-1.