Helenius Falls To SaiPa in Preseason Action

Lightning first round pick [url=riku-helenius]Riku Helenius[/url] was back between the pipes today after sitting for the final three games of the Tampere Cup behind Ilves starter Tuukka Rask. In today's match, Helenius lost to SaiPa 3-1 to move his preseason record to 3-2 thus far. Prior to the match, Ilves went 2-2 with Rask dropping the final match of that tournament to Swedish club Brynas.

Sypek: Healey To Center Next Season?

Fran Sypek's latest article [url=http://www.masslive.com/sypek/republican/index.ssf?/base/sports-0/1156664659126170.xml&coll=1]in the Springfield Republican[/url] postulates that the Falcons may intend to move Eric Healey to play second line center for the upcoming season. Sypek sees Eric Perrin potentially centering a line with Zdenek Blatny and [url=norm-milley]Norm Milley[/url] with Healey centering a line with [url=marek-kvapil]Marek Kvapil[/url] and either David Spina or [url=radek-smolenak]Radek Smolenak[/url]. Just who will be the Falcons' second line center will be a critical question going into 2006-2007 with soon to be 20 year old [url=blair-jones]Blair Jones[/url] being a distinct possibility to fill the role. Sypek's conjectured lines would also break up the productive duo that Blatny and Kvapil formed on a line centered by Jason Jaspers last year.

Falcons Sign Former Florida Everblade John Adams to 1-Way Deal

The [i]Naples News[/i] is reporting the Springfield Falcons have signed defenseman John Adams to a one year, one-way deal. According to the paper, Springfield was the only AHL team willing to give Adams a one-way deal. Adams, 23, appeared in five games for Springfield last season before being signed by the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins and then loaned to the Cleveland Barons. The Everblades had signed him to a contract last November after things didn't work out for him in Germany, then he was loaned to the Falcons on Jan. 17, which is where Grand Rapids saw him play. Adams played four years at Boston College, where the 6'2", 193 defenseman's best season was his junior year where he scored 3 goals and 7 assists in 42 games for the Eagles. He also had 26 penalty minutes that season. He had 1 goal and 7 assists his senior year to go with 36 penalty minutes in 36 games. Adams had 1 goal and 14 assists for Florida, but no points in 13 combined AHL games with Springfield, Grand Rapids, and Cleveland. Springfield has not announced the signing at this time.

Roster(s) Taking Shape Pt. 2

With a number of recent signings by the Springfield Falcons and Johnstown Chiefs, I figured now would be an excellent time to take another stab at the team rosters at all three levels of the organization. [b]Updated: 9/27 to include signing of John Adams[/b]

Croxton Signs With Peoria

Kevin Croxton, a tryout contract player with Springfield last season and participant in last month's Lightning prospect camp, has signed an AHL/ECHL two-way contract with the AHL's Peoria Rivermen, according to the club. Peoria is the AHL affiliate of the St. Louis Blues, the team Croxton will represent at the upcoming Traverse City prospects tournament. Croxton was invited to an additional tryout in Springfield's camp by the Lightning organization, but obviously jumped at the sure thing in a pro contract with the Rivermen. Croxton had 2 goals and 2 assists in 10 games with the Falcons late last season after graduating from RPI.

"Imported Beef on the Blueline"

Note: Story (and title) courtesy of the Prince George Citizen. Article no longer appears online. [b]Imported beef on the blueline[/b] by JIM SWANSON, Citizen Sports Editor It’s like that old Johnny Carson schtick. That Vladimir Mihalik, he’s so big… how big is he? Well, for starters, on Tuesday the six-foot-eight, 234-pound defenceman spent about an hour trying to add lengthy wooden plugs to the top of two of the new electric-blue Easton Synergy composite sticks he and the rest of the Prince George Cougars will be using this season. Cut off a stick to get it down to size? Nah — might need to chop down a telephone pole to find lumber long enough. To fit Mihalik in hockey pads, the guess is that the team will have to dig in the back of the equipment room for Derek Boogaard’s old gear. Or Zdeno Chara’s.

"Russia is an attractive option for young, vibrant talent which is not properly treated (by NHL teams)."

:P [url=http://www.cbc.ca/cp/hockey/060823/h082318.html]Interesting perspective agent Mark Gandler has.......[/url] Mark Gandler, the agent who represents those players, says Russia is an attractive option for "young, vibrant talent which is not properly treated (by NHL teams)." Feaster is also quoted about R2 but this paragraph is the one takes the cake IMO.... That Artukhin, Grebeshkov and Bergenheim are Gandler's clients is just a coincidence, the agent said from his New Jersey office. He vehemently denies the rumour that he was getting a cut from Russian league clubs to deliver them NHL players.

Chiefs Announce Resignation of GM Toby O'Brien

Today, the Johnstown Chiefs announced the resignation of GM Toby O’Brien. O'Brien has served as executive vice president and general manager of the Chiefs since 1996. “Toby has been a great asset both to the Johnstown Chiefs and to the Tampa Bay Lightning organization,” said Chiefs vice president of Hockey Operations Ryan Belec in a team release. “I consider Toby not only to be a colleague, but a good friend of mine, and I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Falcons Add Offense, Bring Back Blatny

The Springfield Falcons have signed winger Zdenek Blatny to a standard AHL contract. Blatny was property of the Lightning last year and appeared in 31 games for the Falcons during the 2005-06 season collecting 14 goals and 15 assists for 29 points. “Zdenek is another player that provides us with some scoring depth at the forward position,” said Falcons President and General Manager Bruce Landon in a team release (article not on web site at this time). “Zdenek displayed a strong scoring touch down the stretch last year and has proven he can be a solid point producer for us heading into the 2006-07 campaign.”

Chiefs Sign Andress

The Johnstown Chiefs have signed defenseman Doug Andress. A former Ohio State Buckeye, Andress appeared in 64 regular season games with the Chiefs in 2005-06, scoring 37 points (6g, 31a) and earning one assist in five Kelly Cup Playoff games. The Iroquois Falls, Ont.-native also appeared in one game with the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights of the American Hockey League, and in three games with the Springfield Falcons, the Chiefs' AHL affiliate, Andress registered his first career AHL goal. "Doug is an experienced player," said Chiefs head coach Frank Anzalone in a press release. "He's strong on the power play and he enjoys playing in Johnstown. He's going into his third pro season, and with the interest in him show by Tampa Bay and Springfield, we're expecting him to perform at a high level this season." [b]8/22 Note:[/b] Today's Johnstown [i]Tribune-Democrat[/i] story of the Andress signing suggests 10-12 parent club prospects could be with the Chiefs this year. The Lightning's Ryan Belec, the new Chiefs vice president of hockey operations and assistant to Tampa Bay Lightning GM Jay Feaster, says several of the young players participating in the Traverse City tournament could end up in Johnstown.
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