Mike Lundin arrived at Lightning training camp last week and did his best not to be star-struck at the amount of star power assembled in Tampa Bay's locker room.
Following a four-year career at the University of Maine where he posted 12 goals and 58 points in 159 games, the 2004 fourth-round draft pick enters his first year as a professional trying to find his place within the organizational roster.
Judging from his first few days of camp, his stock might be higher than previously thought.
To read the rest of the feature, see the Tampa Tribune.
For the first time this year in Lightning camp there was a winning side at scrimmages as Team White defeated Team Black 2-1. Team Black's goal came from Vaclav Prospal on a strong individual effort whule Team White's goals came from Chris Gratton off assists from Matt Smaby and Brad Lukowich, and from Jason Ward off assists from Brad Richards and Michel Ouellet.
In related news, Erik Erlendsson of the Trib reports Head Coach John Tortorella is planning to make his first cuts after Saturday's preseason game against the Caps. Tortorella reportedly plans on shaving the roster down by 7 or 8 players.
Meanwhile, in Chesapeake, Va, Norfolk Admirals camp kicked off today with physical testing mimicking the grueling conditioning drills of the Lightning's camp. The Lightning's prospects started today with the 3x8 lap drill and will undertake the difficult challenge of the 45 lap marathon that is the 15x3 drill tomorrow. Admirals scrimmages will begin Wednesday.
Powell River Kings 3 @ Victoria Grizzlies 3 (9.15.07)
W Justin Courtnall, VIC: 1-0-1, 2 PIM
Game Notes: Justin Courtnall, son of former NHL player Geoff Courtnall and nephew of former NHLer Russ Courtnall, scored his first goal of the year mid-way through the third period to lift the Victoria Grizzlies to a 3-3 tie with Powell River ... The BCHL uses ties and overtime losses in the standings ... Courtnall was whistled for interference late in the third period, but the Grizzlies were able to kill off the penalty ... Courtnall scored just five goals in 53 games last season with Burnaby (BCHL). He has one goal in two games so far this season for the 0-1-1-0 Grizzlies.
Acadie-Bathurst Titan 5 @ Lewiston MAINEiacs 3 (9.16.07)
D Michael Ward, LEW: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 2 SOG
Game Notes: The MAINEiacs dropped their first game of the year, blowing a 3-1 second period lead to the Titan. A-B scored three times in just under two minutes in the second period to make that two goal deficit into a one goal lead. The Titan added an empty netter with nine seconds left ... Ward has not registered a point in two games this year and is looking for his first QMJHL goal.
Lightning fans who know me know that when it comes to this team's prospects I've been a big booster of the concept of Karri Ramo making it to the NHL sooner rather than later. However, for Ramo to make the team out of camp would be an improbable event because the business side of the game all but precludes it. The Lightning have invested roughly $4 million dollars in the tandem of Johan Holmqvist and Marc Denis heading into the 2007-2008 season, and the team learned this summer that Denis is virtually untradable at this point in time after such a poor campaign last season. I won't even attempt to argue for Ramo's promotion to the bigs from a business standpoint, because it doesn't make sense.
But from a hockey standpoint it makes all the sense in the world, and it makes sense on two levels...
Different day, same results. Sunday's scrimmage ended in yet another 1-1 tie between Team Black and Team White, duplicating Saturday's result. According to Erik Erlendsson's blog, Team Black's goal came from the prospective fourth line with Nick Tarnasky getting the goal off an Andre Roy feed. Team White's goal was scored by free agent signing Michel Ouellet off a pass by Brad Richards.
Erlendsson calls out overage prospect David Schneider for a couple of positive plays in today's game. Schneider spent the past four seasons in Finland playing in the SM-liiga for TPS and HPK and was a teammate of Karri Ramo when the two won a championship in 2005-2006. Schneider was signed to anchor the Norfolk Admirals' power play and should provide some offensive spark to the Ads' attack.
Also on the positive side, today was another strong outing for the Lightning's goaltenders particularly Ramo and veteran Marc Denis. Erlendsson had Denis stopping 17 of 17 shots faced while Ramo stopped 16 of 17 including a 3-on-1 chance by Dan Jancevski.
According to Tampabaylightning.com, day one of camp scrimmages ended in a 1-1 tie between Team Black and Team White. Team White's goal was scored by winger Kyle Wanvig off assists from Brad Richards and Doug Janik while Team Black's goal was scored by Vincent Lecavalier off assists from Vaclav Prospal and Paul Ranger.
Wanvig and Janik continue to make a strong impression after good showings in camp during physical testing on Thursday and Friday. Erik Erlendsson also notes in his blog that Wanvig was displaying a strong physical presence throughout the game to go with his goal. The Lightning's top-12 forwards appeared to be set going into training camp, but Wanvig appears to be playing his way into the discussion of who will be the first forward called up at the very least.
Erlendsson notes none of the defensemen vying for the team's #6 and #7 defenseman jobs separated from the pack, and that all three goaltenders played well with wunderkind Karri Ramo stopping 16 of 16 shots faced including a penalty shot by rookie pro Mike Lundin.