Quebec's RDS is reporting that the Tampa Bay Lightning have waived forward Michel Ouellet. The Lightning are attempting to trim their roster down to 24 by 3pm Oct 3rd, ahead of their season opener against the New York Rangers on Oct 4th in Prague.
Ouellet, signed to a two-year contract by then GM Jay Feaster on July 1, 2007 as a free agent from the Pittsburgh Penguins, has been victimized by a rash of forward signings this summer by the Lightning's new ownership group. Ouellet's contract pays him $1.3M this year, but he is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
Despite some concern of whether forwards Brandon Bochenski and Zenon Konopka would clear waivers, both forwards passed through unclaimed at noon on Monday and have been reassigned to the Norfolk Admirals. Bochenski and Konopka was cut from the Tampa Bay training camp on Thursday night just prior to the team leaving for its European season opener against the New York Rangers next weekend in Prague. Both had to wait until Saturday's beginning of the 2008-09 NHL waiver season. The two are expected to be two-thirds of the Admirals top line to start the 2008-09 season, with head coach Darren Rumble on record as saying that Konopka would serve as the team's captain if not claimed.
Preseason action continues for the 0-2-0-0 Admirals this Friday and Saturday when the Philadelphia Phantoms play back-to-back games at the Scope in Norfolk.
Weekend game results for Lightning prospects playing in the BCHL, QMJHL, OHL, and WHL. Season stat update included.
Johan Harju scored his second goal of the season in Lulea's 4-3 loss to Rogle.
Andreas Holmqvist scored the game winning goal and had a power play assist in Frolunda's 3-2 win over MODO.
Johan Harju had an assist and 2 penalty minutes in Lulea's 3-2 loss to HV 71.
Andreas Holmqvist was scoreless in Frolunda's 2-1 loss to Farjestads.
Alexei Glukhov did not play in Mytischi's 4-1 loss to St. Petersburg.
Denis Kazionov did not play in Khabarovsk's 4-2 win over Voskresensk.
Albert Vishnyakov did not play in Novokuznetsk's 3-2 loss to Omsk.
Vasily Koshechkin did not play in Togliatti's 6-2 win over Chelyabinsk.
Dimitri Kazionov was scoreless in Kazan's 4-2 loss to Yulaev.
Anton But had an assist and was +1 in CSKA's 3-2 win over Dynamo Moscow.
Alexei Glukhov did not play in Mytischi's 6-1 drubbing of Cherepovets.
Denis Kazionov was scoreless in Khabarovsk's 4-0 shutout loss to Omsk.
Ilya Solarev had a pair of assists and was +1 in Astana's 4-3 win over Novokuznetsk. Vitali Smolianinov was scoreless in the match for Astana. Albery Vishnyakov recorded a helper and was +1 for Novokuznetsk.
Vasily Koshechkin fell to 1-1-1 on the season as Togliatti lost 2-1 in overtime to Yulaev. Koshechkin stopped 31 of 33 shots faced.
Denis Kazionov did not play in Khabarovsk's 4-3 loss to Omsk.
Anton But had 1 goal, 1 assist, and was +1 as CSKA pounded Misk 8-3.
Per the Tampa Tribune, following the Thursday's preseason game with the New York Rangers, the Lightning made 3 more roster cuts prior to leaving for Europe.
Tampa reassigned prospect defenseman Matt Smaby and forwards Zenon Konopka and Brandon Bochenski to the Norfolk Admirals training camp. Konopka and Bochenski will have to clear waivers before the reassignment is completed, and the these two will be placed on waivers Friday morning.
In case BoltProspects hasn't made this crystal clear over the past three years: Karri Ramo is real, real good.
Ramo stopped 45 of 47 shots in the victory tonight and was named the game's first star.
NY Rangers 7:56, Lauri Korpikoski 1 (Dan Fritsche, Daniel Girardi)
Tampa Bay 2:18, Ryan Malone 1 (Steven Stamkos, Andrew Hutchinson)
Tampa Bay 4:36, Martin St. Louis 1 (Matt Carle, Michel Ouellet)
Tampa Bay 19:41, Evgeny Artyukhin 1 (empty net) (Steven Stamkos, Matt Carle)
The positives tonight were Ramo and that several of the marquee newcomers found their way onto the scoresheet. Matt Carle getting assists in triplicate was an obvious positive, as was Ryan Malone finding the back of the net and Steven Stamkos chipping in a pair of assists.
The negative is that the Lightning were once again soundly outshot despite having most of their NHL regulars in the lineup. We're seeing the convergence of at least three factors here: 1.) the installation of a new system, 2.) lack of chemistry due to so many newcomers being in the lineup, and 3.) a ridiculously inexperienced blueline. Speculation in the broadcast tonight also centered around whether or not the Lightning are in the best of condition right now. Considering the compressed preseason schedule the Lightning are playing right now, and that they've been traveling quite a bit, it might be fatigue setting in more than the Lightning being out of shape.
The extended statistics from the NHL are delayed right now, so I'll update the lines of the prospects later. When I took a peek earlier tonight, Matt Carle also was working on a monster line of his own that was worth mentioning, so I'll add that later too.
Cowichan Valley Capitals 2 @ Victoria Grizzlies 4 (Tuesday)
W Justin Courtnall, VIC: 0-1-1, 2 PIM (hooking)
Evan Pighin scored the fourth and final goal for Victoria. It was his first this season in the BCHL after leaving Chilliwack of the WHL. After scoring 48 points in 53 games last year in Chilliwack, the 20 year-old Pighin joined the Grizzlies â€“ owned by Lightning co-owner Len Barrie â€“ with approval from B.C. Hockey and without permission from his WHL club. The situation is causing much controversy in B.C. and could affect future player movement between CHL and provincial junior clubs. Pighin attended the Lightning's prospect camp in Victoria this summer.
Vancouver Giants 3 @ Kamloops Blazers 4 (SO)
C James Wright, VAN: 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM
Wright scored the gameâ€™s opening goal â€“ his first of the year â€“ but Vancouver would lose a 3-1 lead in the second period and fall in the shootout. Wright had 13 goals in 60 games last year for the Giants.