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Bolts Ink Oates and Ashton

On the eve of the Tampa Bay Lightning 2009-10 season opener in Atlanta Saturday night, General Manager Brian Lawton continues his contract-happy week by inking 2009 1st round draft pick Carter Ashton to a three-year entry level contract. Following a strong training camp, Ashton was returned to his WHL junior team in Lethbridge last weekend, and is expected to play the balance of the 2009-10 season with the Hurricanes.

Lawton also signed former NHL All-Star Adam Oates to a contract as a Lightning assistant coach under Rick Tocchet. Oates, widely regarded as one of the all-time best set up players, has been working with the Lightning coaching staff and team during training camp as an unpaid assistant and and advisor. During the exhibition season, under Oates' guidance, the Lightning power play has shown marked improvement over last season featuring a top unit comprised of Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos, Ryan Malone, and Kurtis Foster.

Lawton may not be done with his signing spree following Thursday's signing of Mitch Fritz and today's inkings, as 2009 6th round pick Jaroslav Janus is rumored to be the next target of Lawton's pen. Lawton has stated that Janus had a strong training camp and is trying to get an entry-level deal done with his agent. Meanwhile the Slovakian netminder has not been returned to his OHL junior team in Erie and continues to practice with the Norfolk Admirals squad as an unsigned player.

CHL Game Night: 10/1

[b][i]OHL[/b][/i] [b] Plymouth Whalers 2 @ Barrie Colts 3 [/b] [i]LW/C [b][url=/alex-hutchings]Alex Hutchings[/url][/b], BAR: 1-1-2, +2, 0 PIM, *First Star*[/i] Season totals: 5 GP, 3-4-7, +3, 0 PIM Hutchings (pictured) scored mid-way through the second period to tie the game at 2 for Barrie. The Colts would win on an early third period goal by Taylor Carnevale (undrafted). [b] Oshawa Generals 4 @ Peterborough Petes 5[/b] [i]G [b][url=/michael-zador]Michael Zador[/url][/b], OSH: Did not play.[/i] Season totals: 3 GP, 1-1-1, 5.50 GAA, .842 sv%, 0 SO Zador sat a second straight game after a poor start to the season. His partner in net, Kevin Bailie, hasn’t faired much better for the Generals. Oshawa outshot the Petes 50-33. Note: Lightning prospect Kyle DeCoste will not play Friday night as he is serving the second game of a two game suspension for abuse of an official.

KHL Game Day: 10/1

Denis Kazionov was scoreless in 4:43 as Ekaterinburg defeated Novosibirsk 3-1.

Vasily Koshechkin allowed 4 goals in 26 shots as Togliatti fell to CSKA 4-2.

Dimitry Kazionov had 2 penalty minutes in 11:52 as Kazan beat Novgorod 3-1.

Karri Ramo allowed 1 goal on 22 shots as Omsk knocked off Spartak Moscow 2-1.

CHL Game Night: 9/30

WHL

Lethbridge Hurricanes 3 @ Kamloops Blazers 5
RW Carter Ashton, LET: 1-0-1, -1, 7 PIM (roughing, fighting, game misconduct)
Season totals: 4 GP, 1-0-1, -9, 9 PIM

Despite outshooting Kamloops 40-26, Lethbridge remains the lone WHL team without a win (0-6) as they fell 5-3 to the Blazers Wednesday. Ashton, who scored 30 goals last year to lead the team, notched his first of the season in his fourth game since returning from Lightning camp. His goal came on the power play, but he was kicked out mid-way through the second period for fighting.

Gregg Drinnan of the Kamloops Daily News has the story: “With the score 2-2 midway through the second period, Kamloops winger Tyler Shattock lowered the boom on Reid Jackson, leaving the Lethbridge defenceman laying on the ice and wondering where he was.

As so often happens in these situations, players partnered up before Brett Lyon of the Blazers and Lethbridge’s Mike Reddington finally fought. The other players dispersed to their bench areas, but Hurricanes forward Carter Ashton, whose goal three minutes earlier had forged a 2-2 tie, got caught up in traffic at the Blazers’ bench. Brandon Underwood, playing in his second straight game after being scratched for the season’s first three outings, ended up engaging Ashton and both players received roughing minors, fighting majors and game misconducts.”

KHL Game Day: 9/29 and 9/30

9/29
Denis Kazionov was -1 in 12:11 with 2 shots on goal as Ekaterinburg was defeated by Khabarovsk 3-1.

9/30
Johan Harju was -1 in 8:54 as Dynamo Moscow fell to Cherepovets 4-2.

Bolts Bring Back Mitch Fritz; Assign to Norfolk

The Tampa Bay Lightning are reporting via Twitter that former Bolt tough guy Mitch Fritz has been signed to a one-year contract today, and will be assigned to the Norfolk Admirals.

Fritz, 29, spent three seasons as an enforcer in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization from 2004-07, playing 174 games and racking up 435 penalty minutes during three seasons for the Springfield Falcons. Last season, the 6'8" and 258 lbs. left winger played 20 games for the New York Islanders and 36 additional games for their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport.

During his tenure in the Lightning organization at Springfield, Fritz was the recipient of the AHL's Yannick Dupre Memorial award for the 2005-06 season as the AHL Man of the Year for his community involvement work in Springfield, MA. Fritz was traded to the New York Rangers by the Lightning in July 2007 for Bryce Lampman and played just 11 games in an injury shortened season for the Ranger's AHL affiliate in Hartford.

Lashoff and Lundin Clears Waivers; Reassigned to Norfolk

Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune is reporting via Twitter that Lightning prospect defenseman Matt Lashoff and fellow blueliner Mike Lundin have cleared waivers and will be reassigned the Norfolk Admirals. The Lightning have set their 23-man roster for today's NHL deadline ahead of the Thursday's start of the 2009-10 NHL season. The Norfolk Admirals begin their 2009-10 AHL season Saturday night against the AHL defending champion Hershey Bears.

CHL Game Night: 9/29

WHL

Lethbridge Hurricanes 1 @ Vancouver Giants 5
RW Carter Ashton, LET: 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM
Season totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, -6, 10 PIM

This was supposed to be a match-up of Lightning prospects James Wright and Ashton, but Wright went and made the Lightning, leaving the Giants in a quandary. Vancouver made a trade earlier Tuesday, acquiring Cass Mappin (undrafted) to help replace Wright. Mappin had an assist vs. Lethbridge. It doesn’t look as though Vancouver needs the help, though – Lethbridge does. The ‘Canes remain the lone WHL team without a win (0-5). They’ll look for that first one again tonight (Wednesday) in Kamloops. Vancouver is 4-1-0-1.

According to Gregg Drinnan of the Kamloops Daily News, the Lethbridge-Vancouver game featured 175 penalty minutes and the refs had their hands full with one line brawl and several post-whistle scrums.

Bolts Waive Lashoff and Lundin; 3 Others Clear

Numerous reports are surfacing today that the Tampa Bay Lightning have waived defensemen Matt Lashoff and Mike Lundin for purposes of reassignment to the Norfolk Admirals. These two transactions represents the final players cut from the Lightning training camp ahead of Wednesday's 23-man roster deadline. Lashoff, a former 1st round pick of the Boston Bruins, was acquired at the 2008-09 trade deadline as the centerpiece for forward Mark Recchi and his subjection to waivers is a bit of a surprise considering his perceived NHL upside.

The Lightning have also been informed that forwards Ryan Craig, Adam Hall, and Brandon Bochenski cleared waivers today and will be reassigned to the Norfolk Admirals.

Gotovets Update

Lightning prospect defenseman Kirill Gotovets and Shattuck St. Mary's got their season underway this past weekend, going 3-0. The Sabres defeated Team Northeast, 7-3, Team Southwest, 8-3, and Team Wisconsin, 5-3. Gotovets, a Cornell commit, did not register a point. He had eight minutes in penalties (cross-checking, roughing-2, elbowing). Gotovets was a seventh round pick of the Bolts this past summer.
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