Koshechkin will play for CSKA if he doesn't sign with Tampa

UPDATE: (May 30) In the Russian newspaper, "Soviet Sport," another version of why Koshechkin's contract with the Lightning is unsigned was published.

It is rumored that Koshechkin wants to test himself at the training camp and sign the contract only after the camp if he will see by the results of the camp "enough possibilities for the career growth." As it was reported he wants to go to the camp without a contract with any team and after the camp he plans to sign a contract with Tampa or CSKA.

Anyway, those reports, no matter what is the truth if there is a truth in both newspaper notes, say that Koshechkin plans to try himself at least at the Lightning camp.

No Summer Rookie Camp; Fewer Prospects at NHL Camp this Year

Both Tampa Bay newspapers are reporting the number of players at Lightning camp this fall in Brandon, Florida will shrink to around 26. This will leave out as many as 28 prospects, AHLers, etc.

Lightning General Manager Jay Feaster told the St. Pete Times the plan, which could be tweaked depending on free-agent signings, will allow more intense and targeted training. He also pointed to financial reasons for the decision, including putting more of the budget toward NHL payroll.

Times reporter Damian Cristodero, citing Feaster, reports in the article Tampa Bay will not hold a summer rookie conditioning camp, but will return to the Traverse City tournament this year "only because it already is committed."

Despite Russian Report, Potential Koshechkin Contract Remains “Out of Lightning’s Hands”

While Sport-Express in Russia is reporting Lightning goaltending prospect Vasily Koshechkin plans to continue his career next year in the NHL and is "close" to signing a contract with Tampa Bay, the Lightning is saying not so fast.

Lightning General Manager Jay Feaster confirmed to Bolt Prospects (BP) the club’s strong interest to sign Koshechkin, but referred to the two sides even being in negotiations as “a bit of a stretch.”

Craig Ramsay Fired

According to both the St. Pete Times and Tampa Tribune, citing a team release, the Lightning has fired associate coach Craig Ramsay. Ramsay led Lightning defensemen and the club's special teams units over the past few years. He has spent seven years with the team.

Prospect Spotlight: Kevin Quick

With Kevin Quick's senior year at Salisbury Prep School behind him and his freshman year at the University of Michigan ahead of him, BoltProspects managed to catch up with him recently and ask him a few questions.  Even though, he announced his intentions to play for the Wolverines last November, the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League drafted Kevin in the 8th round of the OHL Priority Draft.  This fueled speculation that perhaps Kevin would consider foregoing an NCAA career for the Canadian juniors developmental route.  Kevin answers this question and many more.

Lightning Re-Sign Johan Holmqvist

Apologies for the site's technical difficulties last night...

Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune is reporting the Lightning have re-signed goaltender Johan Holmqvist to a 1 year deal. The contract is reported to be worth $1 million dollars and will offer Holmqvist the opportunity to prove himself as a #1 netminder in the NHL with the potential of a greater payoff next summer if he does.

Prospect News Briefs

Here's what we learned this week in communication with the Lightning:

2006 first round draft pick Riku Helenius made a successful return from major shoulder surgery when he suited up for Finland at an Under-19 tournament in St. Petersburg, Russia last month. The Lightning was in attendance when the goaltender played his first game since early autumn, but Finland was on their heels all night and Russia scored two power play goals to beat Helenius and Finland 4-0. Finland didn't fare much better in Helenius' second game, a 5-1 loss to Sweden.

While the GAA may not look ideal for the first rounder, the Lightning said he played well. The important thing to look at here is he's playing again and is in good health. In fact, after missing nearly all the 2006-2007 season, a healthy Helenius is now working out twice a day.

Andreas Karlsson Re-signed

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, citing the Sports Network, the Lightning have re-signed forward Andreas Karlsson to a one-year deal.

The 31-year-old Karlsson scored three goals and recorded six assists in 53 games last season for Tampa Bay.

"Andreas Karlsson is a very versatile hockey player who spent the past year learning our system and coming to understand what John Tortorella demands of his players," said executive vice president and general manager Jay Feaster in making the announcement. "Karlsson is a very good skater who can play center and is an effective face-off man and a good penalty killer. He demonstrated in the postseason that he can also play left wing, and can do so as part of a top-two line scenario when needed."

World Championships- Russia Wins Bronze

Team Russia defeated Sweden 3-1 today to take home the bronze medal at the World Championships. Starter Alexander Eremenko made 32 stops on 33 shots faced for the win. Lightning prospect netminder Vasily Koshechkin again served the role of backup. The young goaltender finished the tournament 3-0 with a 2.67 GAA and .879 save percentage.

In the gold medal match, Canada defeated Finland 4-2. Columbus forward Rick Nash was named tournament MVP.

World Championships- Russia to Play for Bronze

Russia was defeated 2-1 today in their semifinal matchup against Finland, meaning the Russians will now play Sweden on Sunday in the bronze medal match. Goaltender Alexander Eremenko allowed 2 goals on 19 shots in the game to take the loss. Eremenko, who is a long time veteran of the Russian national team in international teams, entered the tournament as backup to Lightning prospect Vasily Koshechkin but outplayed the young netminder to take his starting job for the medal round.

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