Responding to the sudden loss of over half of their defensive corps due to injuries or callups, the Norfolk Admirals have announced the signing of defenseman Mitch Ganzak to a PTO contract. The 6'0" 205 lbs blueliner has spent the balance of this season in the ECHL with the Wheeling Nailers, where he has scored 4 goals and 22 points in 29 games. Prior to this season, Ganzak was the recipient of a 2 game tryout with the Manitoba Moose of the AHL, in which he tallied 1 assist, after 4 years spent with Miami of the CCHA.
As had been widely reported unofficially, Ty Wishart is now officially set to make his NHL debut tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes. Tampa Bay Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Brian Lawton announced today that they have recalled defenseman Ty Wishart from the Norfolk Admirals on an emergency basis.
Wishart, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound rookie defenseman, has appeared in 31 games for Norfolk this season, scoring one goal and two assists with 13 penalty minutes and a +2 rating. He scored his first professional goal on December 19 versus Albany. Wishart made his professional debut last April with the Worcester Sharks, appearing in five games without registering a point. In 36 career AHL games, he has one goal and three points with 13 penalty minutes.
The Comcox, British Columbia native was acquired by the Lightning in a trade with the San Jose Sharks on July 4. He was originally drafted by the Sharks in the first round (16th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
With the Lightning defensive corps depleted by injuries to Lukas Krajicek, Paul Ranger, and Jamie Heward, Wishart joins fellow prospect defensemen Vladimir Mihalik and Matt Smaby to make up one-half of the Lightning's blueline against the Hurricanes.
The Lightning injury problems trickle down to the farm.
NOR Lundin, (1) (Gratton, Henley), 13:25
WOR Armstrong, (11) (Wilson, Kaspar), 18:58 (PP)
WOR Armstrong, (12) (Desjardins, Westgarth), 2:47
WOR Fornataro, (2) (Vesce, Traverse), 14:37
WOR Vesce, (11) (Desjardins, Greiss), 19:26 (SH)
WOR Armstrong, (13) (Desjardins, Lemieux), 16:40 (PP)
The Admirals were in a very tough spot with Vladimir Mihalik and Matt Smaby up in Tampa and Andy Rogers still hurt. Outside of Mike Lundin they had rookie Darryl Boyle, rookie Scott Jackson, virtual rookie Kevin Quick, and two converted ex-defensemen in Brent Henley and Jay Rosehill. Between that and some flukey goals by the Sharks and the Admirals were in a really tough position.
Why not Ty Wishart, you ask? Erik Erlendsson reports with Lukas Krajicek and Paul Ranger still hurt and Jamie Heward having had his clock cleaned in Washington, Wishart will make his NHL debut Saturday night against Carolina. Andrej Meszaros may have to play 30-35 minutes tomorrow night.
1/3 Update: Wishart has been recalled by Tampa Bay.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Thin Lightning defensive corps gets thinned out even more.
Mike Smith allowed 7 goals on 35 shots in the loss.
03:58 WSH Collins (1), (Ovechkin, Morrisonn)
08:02 WSH Steckel (5), (Bradley, Jurcina)
18:29 WSH Green (9), (Ovechkin, Backstrom)
00:58 TB Lecavalier (15), (Prospal, St. Louis)
02:37 TB Malone (9), (Halpern)
02:48 WSH Bradley (4), (Gordon)
19:44 TB Lecavalier (16), (Prospal, St. Louis)
08:07 WSH Gordon (5), (unassisted)
12:22 TB Recchi (9), (St. Louis, Meszaros)
12:47 WSH Clark (1), (Nylander, Green)
18:14 WSH Ovechkin (26), (Backstrom)
Paul Ranger and Lukas Krajicek were already scratches when Jamie Heward got sent to the hospital in the third period with a concussion. It left the Lightning with an incredibly short bench at the end of the game, with the coaching staff not having much confidence in recall Vladimir Mihalik.
Matt Smaby was -2 with 1 shot, 6 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 21:22. He has 13 hits in his last two games. That's something, although he was also on the ice for five Capitals goals (albeit, he was saddled with Eminger as a pairing partner).
Paul Szczechura was -1 with 2 shots, 1 hit, and 3 blocked shots in 15:13.
Vladimir Mihalik had 1 shot, 1 hit, and 2 blocked shots in 13:22. He saw precious little ice though after Heward went down, which is telling.
Steven Stamkos was -1 with 3 shots and 1 hit and he was 50% on draws in 12:20.
I think you ball this one up and forget about it, considering all the injuries and other odd circumstances. The good news is: Lecavalier and St. Louis woke up.
New Year's Eve results from the USHL, QMJHL, OHL, and WHL.
Tough loss. Close game.
Mike McKenna allowed 2 goals on 30 shots for the loss.
NOR Gratton, (1) (Wishart, Jones), 5:01
POR Mancari, (13) (Darche, Zagrapan), 14:09 (PP)
POR Campbell, (1) (Fretter, Baier), 17:56
McKenna was named the game's third star.
Box score from TheAHL.com.