Chiefs Lose Kelly

Eurohockey.net is reporting that Johnstown Chiefs leading scorer Justin Kelly has signed with EHC Olten of Switzerland. The center scored 31 goals and 71 points in 59 games last season for the Chiefs, 21 points more than second leading scorer Dimitri Tarabrin. [url=http://www.tribune-democrat.com/prosports/local_story_187232904.html]According to the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat[/url], the team tendered offers to eight players: G Josh Disher, D Doug Andress, D Jim Hakewill, D Jake Heller, D Brett Peterson, D Ben Wallace, LW Jean Desrochers and C Brad Thompson. The Chiefs will maintain rights to the eight until August 1st. LW Randy Rowe, LW Joe Tallari, D Ian Manzano and LW Jason Spence remained in Johnstown during the offseason and are expected to return to the team.

Springfield Signs Three Including Boisclair

The Springfield Falcons are announcing the signing of three players this afternoon. Center Dan Cavanaugh returns to the Falcons, his hometown team, after a four goal, 19 point season with the club last season. Also, recently signed Lightning prospect Stan Lascek will be reunited with his Chicoutimi teammate Maxime Boisclair as the Falcons signed Boisclair and also Seattle Thunderbird winger Ryan Gibbons to standard AHL contracts. Boisclair was part of the Traverse City Lightning last September and returned to the QMJHL to earn First Team honors at season's end. Gibbons, a hulking 6-5 two-way winger, had 20 goals in 64 games for Seattle last season. All are Springfield contracts upon Tampa's recommendations.

Lightning Sign Doug Janik

The Springfield Falcons are reporting the Lightning have signed former Buffalo Sabres defenseman Doug Janik to a two-way contract. Janik scored Buffalo's first goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals vs. Carolina and logged more than 16 minutes of ice time. The Falcons Press release, quoting Tampa GM Jay Feaster, stated:

Fedotenko Signs

TSN is reporting the Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed Ruslan Fedotenko to a one year contract worth $1.65 million to avoid arbitration. Fedotenko had a career-high 26 goals last season playing mainly with Vincent Lecavalier and Vaclav Prospal.

Norm Milley Re-signed

Sportsnet.ca reported earlier this morning that left winger Norm Milley re-signed with the Lightning. The Springfield Falcons have since confirmed the signing. The deal was reported as a 1 year, 2-way contract at the league minimum of $450k. Milley had two goals and three points in 14 games with Tampa last year. His abscence from the Falcons during that time was felt in Springfield as the AHL club struggled without his leadership and on-ice presence. With the Falcons, Milley had 19 goals and 29 assists for 48 points in 53 games. "We are very excited to have Norm Milley under contract for the upcoming season," Tampa GM Jay Feaster said. "During the 2005-06 campaign Norm demonstrated that he is more than capable of playing in the NHL and is knocking on the door of being a regular. He needs to train as never before this summer so that he comes into camp in the best shape of his life to really give himself a legitimate chance to make our hockey team." Feaster credited Assistant GM Claude Loiselle for the "systematic manner in which he has gone about getting so many valuable depth players signed already this off-season."

Jones: Rogers/O'Brien at Head of the Line?

In Tom Jones' [url=http://www.sptimes.com/2006/07/03/Lightning/Sydor_traded_back_to_.shtml]article on the trade of Darryl Sydor[/url] he suggests rookies [url=andy-rogers]Andy Rogers[/url] or [url=doug-obrien]Doug O'Brien[/url] might be in line for a job in Tampa next season. However, GM Jay Feaster still hopes to acquire another veteran defenseman for close to the league minimum of $450,000. Obviously, the shedding of Sean Burke and his $1.6 million dollar salary would significantly improve Feaster's chances of landing another third pairing defenseman to round out the team's roster.

Sydor Traded

TSN.ca [url=http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=170328&hubname=nhl]reports defenseman Darryl Sydor has been traded to the Dallas Stars in exchange for a 4th round pick.[/url] The move frees over $2.1 million dollars of payroll under the salary cap. It also could be the beginning of the Lightning stockpiling draft picks which could help them at the trade deadline this year as well as at the draft table next June. In addition, the chances of Tampa hopefuls like Andy Delmore, [url=andy-rogers]Andy Rogers[/url] or [url=matt-smaby]Matt Smaby[/url] making the team out of camp have greatly appreciated.

Dimitri Kazionov Trasfers to Kazan

Eurohockey.net is reporting 2002 4th round pick Dimitri Kazionov has transferred from Moscow Dynamo to Ak Bars Kazan of the Russian Superleague. Dimitri is the brother of 2006 draftee Denis Kazionov who played for Tver this season.

Lightning Ink Filip Kuba to Three Year Deal

Hours after losing Pavel Kubina to the Toronto Maple Leafs via free agency, Jay Feaster and the Tampa Bay Lightning replace one of the oldest tenured Bolts with Minnesota Wild blueliner Filip Kuba. In a quote reported on tsn.ca, Lightning GM Jay Feaster said, "Filip Kuba is a solid, steady, top-four, All-Star defenseman who has adapted well to the new NHL. We believe that playing within our system will enable him to post even bigger offensive numbers and we are confident our forwards will enjoy playing with someone who is able to get them the puck quickly and help with our transition game. While we were disappointed to lose Pavel Kubina today, we are excited to fill that hole with such a high-caliber player."

Alexeev Returns

TampaBayLightning.com is reporting the Bolts have brought back Nikita Alexeev. The towering Russian winger, who failed to earn a roster spot in 2003-2004, will again compete for a spot the Lightning this season. While Alexeev's speed is needed on the Tampa roster, he must show an improved work ethic to earn a regular role.
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