Simek to Return to Lightning

Capgeek.com is reporting that Lightning prospect forward Juraj Simek has inked a one-year, two-way contract with Tampa.

UPDATE: The Lightning have confirmed the signing of Simek to a one-year, two-way contract.

Reports surfaced just a few days ago that Simek had been cut from his try-out agreement with Dynamo Riga of the KHL after the team's second exhibition game. At that time, Latvian hockey news outlet icebox.lv was reporting that Simek intended to return to the Norfolk Admirals, the Lightning's AHL affiliate he had been playing for since the Bolts acquired him in 2008 along with Lukas Krajicek for Shane O'Brien and Michel Ouellet.

However, another Latvian hockey news outlet reported that Simek's performance in his try-out for Riga was hampered by what was described as angina.

Jon Cooper Named New Norfolk Admirals Head Coach

TAMPA BAY, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Lightning have hired Jon Cooper to be the head coach of the American Hockey League’s Norfolk Admirals today, Admirals General Manager Julien BriseBois announced. Cooper joins the Admirals from the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League.

“We are pleased to announce Jon as the head coach of the Admirals today,” BriseBois said upon making the announcement. “He has excelled at a championship level in each location he has coached and we are happy he elected to continue his career in the Lightning organization. Jon is a perfect fit as we strive to restore a winning culture for our players and the fans in Norfolk.”

Cooper, a native of Prince George, British Columbia, has spent the previous two seasons with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL, posting an 84-27-9 record. He also led the Gamblers to two Anderson Cups, awarded to the USHL regular season champions, and one Clark Cup, given to the playoff champions.

“I am honored and humbled to be offered this great opportunity with organizations led by first class individuals such as Jeff Vinik, Ken Young, Steve Yzerman, Julien BriseBois and Guy Boucher,” Cooper said. “With strong leadership from the ownership level down through both franchises, everyone is working towards making the Lightning and the Admirals an organization to be proud of and I’m honored that they’ve asked me to be part of it.”

During his first season behind the bench in Green Bay, Cooper helped lead the biggest one-year improvement in USHL history after the Gamblers went from 32 points in 2007-08 to 82 points and the USHL’s best record in 2008-09. Cooper was recognized for his efforts following the 2008-09 season, being named the 2009 USHL General Manager of the Year.

Last season Cooper led Green Bay to its second consecutive Anderson Cup as well as the Clark Cup Championship, the team’s first since 2000. He guided the team to a 45-10-5 record, the best in Gamblers’ 16-year franchise history. Cooper was also awarded the USHL Coach and General Manager of the Year honors.

Lightning Sign 2010 Pick Radko Gudas to Entry Level Deal

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman and 2010 draft pick Radko Gudas to a three-year, entry level contract today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced. Gudas most recently participated in the Lightning’s 2010 Development Camp, held in Tampa July 10-14.

Gudas, 6-foot, 202 pounds, played in 65 games with the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League last season, recording seven goals and 37 points with a plus-45 rating. He led the team in plus/minus and penalty minutes with 151. Gudas also led all Everett defensemen in points and assists. He also skated in three playoff games with the Silvertips, recording two assists.

Riga Releases Simek

The blog Latvian Hockey is reporting forward Juraj Simek has been released from his tryout with KHL club Dynamo Riga. Simek, who scored a career high 21 goals and 36 points last season with Norfolk in the AHL, was cut loose after just two exhibition games with the team. Riga's decision may open the door for the Lightning to re-sign the speedy, two-way forward. In three professional seasons in the AHL, Simek had 37 goals and 75 points in 204 regular season games.

Lightning Sign Mike Angelidis to Two-Way Deal

Capgeek.com is reporting that the Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Mike Angelidis to a one-year, two-way contract.

Angelis, 25, spent the last four seasons with the Albany River Rats of the AHL, where he amassed 42 goals and 43 assists in 235 regular season games. Prior to his pro career with Albany, the undrafted Angelidis played four seasons with the Owen Sound Attack of the OHL, where he received not only the OHL's Dan Snyder Trophy as the league's Humanitarian Player of the Year, but also the award for the entire Canadian Major Juniors. The 6'1" and 210 C/LW scored 78 goals and 54 assists in 240 regular season games for Owen Sound.

Update: The Lightning have confirmed the signing. The official press release is below...

Bolts Ink Dominic Moore For Two Years

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent center Dominic Moore to a two-year contract today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced.

“Dominic’s skating ability, strength on face-offs and versatility will be a great edition to our line up,” Yzerman said. “We’re pleased to welcome him to the organization.”

Moore, 6-foot, 196 pounds, has played in 374 career NHL games with the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Wild, Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres, Florida Panthers and Montreal Canadiens. He has amassed 45 goals, nine power-play goals, three shorthanded goals, three game-winning goals, 128 points and 243 penalty minutes. Moore has also played in 23 career Stanley Cup Playoff games with New York and Montreal.

Lightning Add Everblades as ECHL Affiliate

(Tampa Bay Lightning press release) The Tampa Bay Lightning have entered into a one-year affiliation agreement with the Florida Everblades of the ECHL today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced. Florida will serve as the Lightning’s primary ECHL affiliate starting with the 2010-11 season. Tampa Bay will provide the Everblades with players under both NHL and AHL contracts.

“We are very happy to welcome the Florida Everblades to the Lightning organization today,” Yzerman said. “The Everblades and their management have demonstrated a strong commitment to success by guiding their team to the playoffs in each of their 12 seasons in existence. That is exactly the type of winning environment we feel our players should develop in. Couple that with their proximity to Tampa and there really isn’t a better option for us. We look forward to our prospects and contracted players helping to bring the Kelly Cup to Southwest Florida.”

Bolts Re-sign Mihalik; Sign Two UFA Defensemen

(Tampa Bay Lightning press release) The Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed defenseman Vladimir Mihalik (mih-HAHL-ihk) and signed free agent blue-liners Mathieu Roy (WAH) and Michael Vernace (vuhr-NAYS) to one-year, two-way contracts today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Mihalik, 6-foot-7, 244 pounds, played in 75 games with the Norfolk Admirals last season, recording two goals and 18 points. He ranked third among Admirals defensemen for points and was tied for fourth overall with a plus-6 rating. Mihalik also played in four games with Tampa Bay. Following the regular season he went on to represent his native Slovakia at the IIHF World Championships, where he recorded one goal in six games.

A native of Presov, Slovakia, Mihalik has played in 15 career NHL games, all with the Lightning. During his career he has notched three assists. He has also played in 204 career AHL games, all with Norfolk, recording five goals and 49 points with 193 penalty minutes.

Beukeboom Gets WJ Camp Invite

Sault Ste. Marie team site SooToday.com is confirming that Lightning 2010 3rd round draft pick Brock Beukeboom has been invited to Team Canada's Junior Team development camp scheduled for August 5-7 in St. John's, Newfoundland. Beukeboom will join 40+ players vying for a spot on Team Canada’s entry at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship set to be held in Buffalo and Niagara, New York.

“This is a great opportunity for me to get a real taste of the best in Junior Hockey and to prove that I can play there,” explained Beukeboom.

BoltProspects expects Beukeboom to also suit up for the Lightning's entry into the Traverse City Prospects tournament scheduled for September 11-15 in Traverse City, MI.

Tokarski, Mihalik Named to Admirals All-Time 2nd Team

The Norfolk Admiral fanbase have selected their All-Time AHL 1st and 2nd teams as part of a 10th Anniversary team celebration at norfolkadmirals.com.

Current Bolt prospect defenseman Vladimir Mihalik and goaltender Dustin Tokarski were voted on the 10th Anniversary 2nd Team. Joining Mihalik and Tokarski on the 2nd team is former Lightning prospect forward Justin Keller. Former Tampa forward Brandon Bochenski was voted on 10th Anniversary 1st Team.

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