Dustin Tokarski shutout Team White in 20 minutes of action in the third and final game of the Red-White intrasquad scrimmage series at Hockey Canada's 2009 World Junior Championships Developmental Camp. Team Red won the game 4-2 and claimed bragging rights winning the series 2-1. Tokarski was a Lightning 5th round pick at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft in June after winning Memorial Cup MVP honors and leading his Spokane Chiefs to the CHL title. Lightning 2007 2nd round pick Dana Tyrell was scoreless for Team White in the final game, finishing 0-1-1 and 2 PIMs in the 3 game series.
Tokarski led all goaltenders with just 2 goals allowed in 3 games and 90 minutes played. Tokarski's Team Red teammate Jake Allen (STL) allowed 5 goals, while Team White's Tyson Sexsmith (SAN) and Chet Pickard (NAS) allowed 4 goals and 7 goals, respectively.
The roster for Team Canada's 2009 U20 World Junior Championships roster is scheduled to be released in December 2008.
Norfolk Admirals GM Mike Butters was busy with the pen again today continuing to add roster depth by signing former Lightning overage defensive prospect Justin Fletcher to a standard AHL contract. Butters had signed center Pete Zingoni and goaltender Mike McKenna to standard AHL contracts on Monday. Fletcher, originally undrafted out of St. Cloud State in Minnesota, signed an ATO with the Springfield Falcons and eventually earned a one year NHL contract from then Lightning GM Jay Feaster in May 2007.
Team White storms back in the second intrasquad scrimmage at Hockey Canada's World Junior Championships Development Camp hosted this week at the University of Ottawa. Goaltender Jake Allen got the starting nod for Game Two for Team Red and allowed three Team White goals in the first half of the game. Bolt prospect Dustin Tokarski entered the nets at the 9:42 mark of the second period for Team Red. Greg Nemisz scored what would be the game-winning goal against Tokarski with just under two minutes to go in the second period as Team White took a seemingly insurmountable 4-0 lead. Lightning prospect Dana Tyrell assisted on the Nemisz goal to earn his first point of the three-game intrasquad series.
Just like the first scrimmage, Tokarksi would slam the door shut after allowing just one goal, while Team Red rallied behind two points each by Tyler Ennis and Chris Terry. In the end, Team Red would fall short allowing Team White to knot up the three-game scrimmage series with a 4-3 victory.
Zingoni, 27, played 66 games last season for the Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL notching 20 goals and 38 points to go along with 92 penalty minutes. The native of Bridgeport, CT was an 8th round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.
McKenna, 25, is a two time ECHL All-Star who appeared in 41 games last season for the Portland Pirates of AHL going 24-13-1 with a 2.72 GAA, 3 shutouts, and a .908 save percentage. McKenna was a 6th round pick of the Nashville Predators in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, and will compete with Lightning prospects Karri Ramo and Riku Helenius for one of two spots in Norfolk.
Hockey Canada's Developmental Camp for the 2009 World Junior Championships opened Sunday with an intrasquad scrimmage between Team Red and Team White. Lightning 2008 draft pick and Memorial Cup winning goaltender Dustin Tokarski started the scrimmage for Team Red. Red was a 4-1 victor over White, with Tokarski giving up a penalty shot goal to John Tavares just 28 seconds into the game after Tokarski was whistled for a Delay of Game penalty. The penalty resulted in Tavares getting the penalty shot attempt.
After allowing the penalty shot, Tokarski clamped down on Team White, stopping all of the other 9 shots he faced in the 1st period and 4 more in the 2nd before yielding the nets to Jake Allen mid-way through the game. Together, Tokarski and Allen saved 22 of 23 Team White shots as Red got goals from Luke Schenn, Nazem Kadri, Chris DiDomenico, and Jamie Benn behind 39 shots on Chet Pickard and Tyson Sexsmith.
Lightning 2007 2nd round pick Dana Tyrell is on the Team White roster but did not figure into the box score.
Canada's Development Camp resumes with another Red-White scrimmage Monday night at 6pm ET at the University of Ottawa.
Jon Jordan is reporting on his blog that Steve Stamkos has signed an entry level contract for the rookie max of $850k per year along with up to $2.4 million in potential bonuses. The club has called a 5:00 PM (ET) press conference tomorrow to announce the signing from the Prospects Camp at Bear Mountain Resort in Victoria, B.C.
Erik Erlendsson of the Tribune reports that Stamkos will make the base rookie max salary of $875k per year and upwards of $2.85M in bonuses.
Damian Crisdotero reports the Tampa Bay Lightning have announced that the Augusta Lynx will serve as the team's ECHL affiliate next season, entering into a one year contractual agreement today. The Lightning organization will provide the Lynx with players under NHL and AHL contracts. Tampa Bay will also play a role in selecting the coaching staff. The Lightning's previous ECHL affiliation contract with the Mississippi Sea Wolves expired earlier this season, and the Sea Wolves had already resigned head coach Steffon Walby to an extension.
â€œWe are extremely pleased to welcome the Augusta Lynx to the Lightning organization,â€ Lightning VP of Hockey Operations Brian Lawton said. â€œThe Lynx and their management team are committed to success and it shows by them making the playoffs in six of their 10 seasons in operation. We feel that due to the organizationâ€™s desire to win, and because of its proximity to Tampa and our AHL affiliate in Norfolk, there really is not a better option for us in the ECHL. We look forward to our prospects playing an important role in bringing the Kelly Cup to Augusta.â€
â€œWe are thrilled to be a part of the Lightning organization, and we look forward to working together in order to win championships,â€ Augusta GM Dan Troutman said. â€œWith the aggressive moves their new ownership have pursued since purchasing the team, we feel Tampa Bayâ€™s commitment and passion to winning is a great asset to our club. Our goal as a club is to bring the Kelly Cup to Augusta, and an affiliation with an organization with as much success as the Lightning have had brings us closer to that goal. We look forward to helping young players refine their skills on their road to the NHL.â€
The Lynx play in the James Brown Arena. How cool is that?
The Lightning's prospect camp - its first in years - is set to begin this Sunday, July 27 and run through August 3.
The Victoria News reports 2008 first overall pick Steven Stamkos will indeed be in attendance at the camp, along with several others, including recently acquired defenseman Ty Wishart and former first rounder Riku Helenius.
TampaBayLightning.com released the names of Lightning picks/property on the camp roster (there are 11 others set to attend):
The Helena Independent Record is reporting Mike Butters, part-owner of the Helena Bighorns Junior A Tier III hockey team, will be introduced as the AHL Norfolk Admirals' new general manager.
The Bighorns are also owned by Oren Koules, who runs OK Hockey - owners of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The newspaper describes Butters as "energetic and often boisterous," which would seem to fall in line with the rest of the new Lightning organizational ownership, which includes real estate magnate and former NHLer Len Barrie.
Butters, a 42 year-old Manitoba native, is also a former hockey player, last playing in the AHL in 1992.
TSN.ca is reporting Lightning enforcer and fan favorite Andre Roy has signed a one year deal with Calgary. Roy had four goals and three assists for seven points, along with 108 penalty minutes, this past year for Tampa Bay.
While known for his locker-room antics and passion for his team, Roy's emotions got the better of him at times, resulting in on-the-bench arguments with then-coach John Tortorella. Roy was suspended by the club for a handful of games to end the year.
With Tortorella now out of the picture, it was thought Roy may have a place with the "new" Lightning, but despite new coach Barry Melrose's wishes for a physical team - and a sect of Lightning fans demanding Roy's return - the coach and new owners indicated at a recent town hall meeting with fans that the club would make use of its size at forward and team toughness rather than use a designated enforcer.
The Lightning did sign 6'6" enforcer David Koci to a one year contract earlier this off-season, but that signing was done with Norfolk in mind.