Norfolk Admirals GM Mike Butters announced today that the team has released defenseman Jeff May from his Amateur Tryout Contract. May was a teammate of Lightning forward prospect Mitch Fadden for the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League last season. He was an invitee to the Tampa Prospects Camp this summer in Victoria, BC and his performance at that camp subsequently earned him a roster spot on the Lightning's Traverse City Prospects tournament squad. His poised play on the blueline during that tourney led to an invitation to the Norfolk Admirals training camp and an Amateur Tryout Contract.
Originally a 2005 5th round pick by the Detroit Red Wings, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound defenseman played 3 games for Norfolk and was scoreless. The recent arrival of veteran defenseman Jamie Heward from Tampa further complicated an already overstaffed Norfolk blueline, leading to some personnel decisions. May's release comes on the heels of the reassignment of forwards Brady Leavold and Justin Keller to their respective ECHL teams as the Admirals completed the process of paring down their roster to 23 players, including
Forwards (13) : Blair Jones, Radek Smolenak, Bracken Kearns, Paul Szczechura, Paul Zingoni, Juraj Simek, Chris Lawrence, Wyatt Smith, Brandon Segal, Brandon Bochenski, Jay Rosehill, Brent Henley, and Zenon Konopka.
The Norfolk Admirals have reassigned Lightning prospect forward Justin Keller to the Augusta Lynx of ECHL. Keller, on the third year of his entry level contract, has registered 1 assist in 3 games for the Admirals this season. Keller was Norfolk's representative at last season's AHL All-Star game, finishing the season third on the team in goals and fourth in points.
The 6â€™0â€, 181-pound forward from Nelson, British Columbia was an 8th round draft pick of the Lightning in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, making his pro debut in 2006-07 with the AHLâ€™s Springfield Falcons. His 13 goals, 4 power play goals and 24 points led all Springfield rookies. In 132 career American Hockey League games, Keller has scored 28 goals and added 34 assists for 62 points with 71 penalty minutes.
Prior to turning pro, Keller played three seasons with the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League. In 216 games with Kelowna, Keller scored 107 goals and 80 assists. He led the WHL with 51 goals in 2005-06 and scored the Memorial Cup winning goal with the Rockets in 2004.
Keller's addition to the Lynx should result in an immediate impact on Augusta's offense, as Keller has a sniper's touch and a willingness to play in the high traffic areas.
The goalie no one in the WHL wanted now suddenly is in high demand.
For the second time in a week, Lightning prospect Torrie Jung was traded. This time, Lethbridge dealt the netminder to the Edmonton Oil Kings, who were unhappy with the inconsistency of veteran goaltender Dalyn Flette and need healthy options in net.
UMass Minutemen 6 @ RPI Engineers 0
D John Wessbecker, UMass: 0-1-1, +3, 2 PIM
Wessbecker, a senior, returned to the UMass lineup for the first time since being injured last November 30 and assisted on the gameâ€™s first goal. Wessbecker shot from the point and after a tip-attempt and a rebound, the puck squirted to Chris Davis, who potted it for his first goal.
Prince George Cougars 1 @ Lethbridge Hurricanes 6
C/W Dana Tyrell, PG: 0-0-0, -6, 2 PIM (elbowing)
Season totals: 11 GP, 9-4-13, -9, 12 PIM
C Mitch Fadden, LET: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM (roughing)
Season totals: 4 GP, 2-1-3, E, 2 PIM
G Torrie Jung, LET: Did not dress.
Lethbridge, who got back Carolinaâ€™s first rounder Zach Boychuk this week, outshot PG 40-11 in the game. Boychuk had a goal for the â€˜Canes. Jung has joined the Hurricanes, but did not dress as rookie Michael Tadjdeh got the start for Lethbridge. Heâ€™s the current No.2 behind Metsola. It was written Lethbridge acquired Jung to give them an experienced back-up, but Jung may not be in game-shape yet after sitting out all of the season so far. Fadden has not registered a point in two games.
Tyrellâ€™s minus-6 night comes on the heels of a minus-5 night four games ago. Danaâ€™s brother, Cory, will miss six weeks for PG due to a kneecap injury.
Lightning prospect goaltender Riku Helenius stopped 44 of 46 shots and then 3 of 3 in the shootout to lead the Augusta Lynx to their first win of the season. It was Helenius' first professional win in his first pro start, earning him second star honors for the game. Former Lightning defensive prospect Art Femenella was the game's first star for his game-winning shootout goal.
The Lynx got regulation goals from their top guys Matt Auffrey and Aaron Slattengren, who also scored shootout goals with Femenella. Kevin Quick was pointless for his third game, and finished even with 2 shots and 2 PIMs.
Augusta resumes its road trip this weekend for a 3-in-3 at Elira and Reading.
The Norfolk Admirals have reassigned forward Brady Leavold to the Victoria Salmon Kings of the ECHL. Leavold, who was signed by the Salmon Kings last spring for the ECHL playoff run after he finished his junior career with the Kelowna Rockets, was signed to an AHL contract with Norfolk on August 7th, but the Salmon Kings held his ECHL rights after qualifying the forward on July 1st. Leavold earned an AHL contract after first being invited to Tampa's prospect camp this summer in Victoria. Leavold then participated on the Lightning's Traverse City prospect tournament team before reporting to Norfolk's training camp. Leavold's reassignment to Victoria comes just hours after the Lightning placed forward Jason Ward on waivers.
Leavold, 20, is a 5-foot-11, 190-pound forward from Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. He appeared in each of Norfolk's first four games of the season, going scoreless with two penalty minutes.
It's about time.
Mike Smith stopped 31 of 33 shots for his first win of the season.
06:37 ATL Colby Armstrong, (Todd White)
19:24 ATL Todd White, (Mathieu Schneider, Ron Hainsey)
Congratulations to Barry Melrose on his first win in the NHL in 13 years, and Oren Koules and Len Barrie on their first win as NHL owners.
Janne Niskala had 1 assist, 2 shots, and was +1 in 11:52.
Steven Stamkos had 4 shots, 2 hits, and was 46% on draws in 11:30.
It was a busy morning on Channelside today as the Tampa Bay Lightning claimed veteran forward Matt Pettinger off of recall waivers from the Vancouver Canucks. Pettinger, who was acquired by the Canucks at the trade deadline last February from the Washington Capitals in exchange for Matt Cooke, failed to make the Vancouver roster out of camp and was assigned to the AHL Manitoba Moose. Pettinger had 3 goals for Manitoba in 2 games, and has 56 goals, 105 points in 354 NHL games with the Capitals and Canucks. The Canucks are on the hook for half of his $1.1M contract, and he is expected to join the Lightning instead of being reassigned to Norfolk.
It was also announced by the NHL that enforcer David Koci was claimed off waivers by the St. Louis Blues. Koci was waived on Monday ahead of an anticipated activation of foward Ryan Craig off of IR. Tampa will have the first option to reclaim Koci from the Blues if he cannot maintain a roster spot with St. Louis, and would be free to be reassigned to Norfolk by the Lightning.
Lightning 2008 sixth round pick Mark Barberio was featured today in the Moncton paper:
When the Moncton Wildcats acquired Mark Barberio in a trade midway through 2006-07, he was known as a defensive defenceman. But it seems his identity has changed since then.
He began to take on a new look last season when he was the surprise runnerup in team scoring with 46 points, including 11 goals, in 70 games. That made him the ninth-highest scoring defenceman in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Barring injury, he will likely surpass those statistics this season and move into the top five in Wildcats career scoring for a defenceman. He has 11 points, including four goals, in 11 games.
"I don't want to be branded as somebody who's only a defensive defenceman or only an offensive defenceman,'' said Barberio. "I like to consider myself an all-around defenceman.
For the rest of this feature, please see the Moncton Times-Transcript by clicking here.