Tukonen, who was selected 11th overall by Los Angeles in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, floundered for three years as a pro in the Kings organization before returning to Finland where he has played for Lukko Rauma this season, amassing 5 goals and 13 points in 22 games this year. The 22 year old winger was once touted as an up-and-coming power forward type in the Olli Jokinen mold, but his lack of intensity saw him score just 14 goals and 36 points in 62 games in his career season in the AHL, his rookie professional year in 2005-2006.
Hutchinson's departure removes a one-way contract from the Lightning's ledger. The defenseman has had respectable numbers in the minors, with 1 goal and 14 points in 20 games, but the emergence of prospect Blair Jones as the right-handed triggerman on Norfolk's power play was likely the final straw that made Hutchinson expendable.
Game stars for Jung, Fadden, and Tyrell ... Tokarski's struggles continue.
Lightning can't climb out of a three goal first period hole.
15:20 COL Leopold (4), (Svatos)(PP)
17:21 COL Wolski (3), (Svatos, Arnason)
18:57 COL Wolski (4), (Arnason, Svatos)
12:17 TB Lecavalier (10), (Ranger, Malone)
03:42 COL Jones (2), (McCormick, Clark)
09:19 TB Malone (7), (Eminger, Stamkos)(PP)
15:31 TB Stamkos (3), (Lecavalier, Eminger)(PP)
Obviously Ryan Malone and Steven Stamkos have started to come around in recent games, but keep an eye on Steve Eminger. The former high Capitals pick is finally starting to live up to his considerable offensive potential.
It may not come together in time to save this team's playoff ambitions, but we're starting to see some components of this team's future start to come together, both in Tampa and in Norfolk where there are a handful of players starting to get in line to make a move to the next level. Losses aside, I'm starting to get excited about some of the new foundation that is getting laid down.
Steve Downie had a fight and a blocked shot in 7:39.
Stamkos had 1 goal and 1 assist and was -1 with 2 shots and 1 hit in 21:42. He was also 50% on draws.
You fear Matt Smaby.
NOR Konopka, (7) (Bochenski, Smaby), 4:33
WBS Letestu, (1) (Stone, Thomas), 7:52
WBS Caputi, (4) (Richmond, Jeffrey), 8:33
WBS Mormina, (1) (Taffe, Minard), 15:14
NOR Bochenski, (9) (Heward, Konopka), 1:29 (PP)
NOR Szczechura, (11) (Ward, Segal), 14:54
NOR Smaby, (2) (Rogers, Segal), 2:13
Smaby and Brandon Bochenski were the game's first and second stars.
Kudos to Darren Rumble for shaming his team by pulling Ramo after the second period. Norfolk responded by outshooting the Penguins 22-4 the rest of the way and tallying three unanswered goals to finish their home stand at 2-1-0.
Matt Smaby has 2 goals and 3 points in his last two games, sandwiched with a Turkey Day trip home to Minnesota. You get the feeling he, like several of his Admirals prospect teammates, is starting to turn the corner and line up for a callup and a real shot at the NHL later this season.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned defenseman Matt Smaby to the Admirals, it was announced today by Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Brian Lawton.
Smaby, a 6-5, 220-pound native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, was recalled on November 27 and served as a healthy scratch November 28 at Minnesota. He has skated in 17 games with Norfolk this season, recording a goal, two assists and 22 penalty minutes. The 24-year-old has appeared in 141 career AHL games with Norfolk and Springfield, tallying four goals, 21 assists and 131 penalty minutes.
In a Friday afternoon press conference, Augusta Lynx co-owners announced that if an investor or partner isn't found "in a matter of days", the team will fold.
Saturday night's home game against the Charlotte Checkers will be just the 7th home game of the season, and 3rd weekend home game for the team. The Lynx aren't scheduled to play another home game until December 16th.
â€œI think weâ€™re going to have to have an investor,â€ co-owner Dan Troutman said. â€œQuite frankly, weâ€™ve got one more home game and then weâ€™re gone for three weeks... The long story short is weâ€™ve got to have some money quicker than we can do it with just attendance."
If the Lynx fold, Lighting prospects Kevin Quick, Chris Lawrence, and Riku Helenius could be recalled to Norfolk of the AHL since there are no roster limit maximums in the AHL, but presumably that would be a temporary solution.
Harvard Crimson 1 @ No.5 Boston College Eagles 5
C/W Alexander Killorn, HAR: 0-1-1, -2, 4 PIM (high sticking, hitting-after-the-whistle), 2 SOG
Season totals: 10 GP, 2-5-7, -1, 22 PIM
St. Lawrence Saints 4 @ No.17 UMass Minutemen 3
D John Wessbecker , UMass: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 10 GP, 0-2-2, +8, 10 PIM
UMass scored two goals with the goalie pulled in the gameâ€™s final minute to pull to 4-3. They got one last shot off to try to tie the game, but the shot was blocked.
*USCHO poll used for rankings.
It was an inexplicably passive third period.
Karri Ramo allowed 4 goals on 29 shots for the loss.
WBS Thomas, (2) (Letestu, Richmond), 16:12 (PP)
NOR Boyle, (2) (Simek, Kearns), 19:39
WBS James, (7) (Jeffrey), 12:59 (SH)
NOR Jones, (4) (Konopka, Bochenski), 19:16 (PP)
WBS James, (8) (Lovejoy, Caputi), 10:57
WBS Taffe, (12) (Caputi, Wallace), 16:35
NOR Bochenski, (8) (Konopka, Potulny), 19:31
Brandon Bochenski was named the game's second star.
I'm absolutely flabbergasted. Norfolk played 40 minutes of very solid hockey only to come out flat as a pancake in the final period to take the loss. It's a tough one to take. Maybe it was expecting too much considering the team had 4 players called up, but they played so well in the first couple of periods its shocking how badly they got rolled in the third.
Blair Jones extended his point streak to 4 games with a power play goal. Jones, a righty shot, is once again being used on the point on the power play as he has been from time to time in his professional career, and the Admirals seem to be running a lot of their PP set pieces through Jones and his ever improving point shot. His goal tonight came with Vladimir Mihalik being used in front of the net as a king-sized screen.
Norfolk squares off with the Penguins again tomorrow night.
Box score from TheAHL.com.