Rumor Squashed: Lightning Not Pursuing Anton But

It turns out the rumor of Anton But potentially coming to Tampa Bay was just that - a rumor. Bolt Prospects has learned that the Lightning are not actively pursuing But. In fact, Tampa Bay Vice President and General Manager Jay Feaster stated, "The last time [the Lightning's] Russian scout spoke with him, [But] wasn't overly keen on coming over to play in North America." The Lightning will lose But's rights next summer should the Russian Federation ratify the IIHF-NHL transfer agreement. With a scoring line spot open in Tampa and But's release from Yaroslavl, it would have seemed like the perfect time to bring over the scoring winger. However, "at this point in time," that does not appear to be the case.

Willis a Hurricane Again

Despite attempts to bring him back into the fold earlier this summer, Shane Willis has left the Lightning organization and signed with former club Carolina on a one year two-way deal. The right winger split last season between Davos of the Swiss league and Linkopings of the Swedish Elitserien.

Jaspers to Germany

Eurohockey.net is reporting center Jason Jaspers has signed with German DEL club Adler Mannheim. Jaspers, who was under a Lightning contract last season, was the Falcons' second leading scorer for the 2005-2006 season.

Packard Signed By Boston

Dennis Packard, the Harvard University product who was not re-signed by the Lightning this summer, signed with the Boston Bruins yesterday, according to USA Today.

Vesce Lands in Ottawa

Ryan Vesce, an All-Star with Springfield in his rookie season last year, has signed an NHL contract with the Ottawa Senators, according to theAHL.com. Vesce led the Falcons in assists (49) and points (67) in his first season of North American pro hockey. He played one year in Sweden after completing his collegiate career with Cornell. Vesce is likely slated for Binghampton of the AHL, but not has the opportunity for NHL duty if needed.

Big Time Rumor: Anton But to Tampa Bay

Russianprospects.com [url=http://www.russianprospects.com/public/index.php]is speculating that Anton But may be close to signing a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning.[/url] The rumor comes on the heels of But's release from his long-time club Yarolslavl where he won two championships and was a perennial Superleague All-Star. A potential deal might require the Lightning to move a player off their 50-man roster to accomodate But. Because he is not under contract at present he would be free of any potential entanglements due to the lack of an IIHF transfer agreement with Russia.

Russia Transfer Situation Remains Muddled

TSN is reporting that the Russian Federation still hasn’t signed the IIHF-NHL transfer agreement. This, despite an ABC News Report stating otherwise just a few weeks ago. While negotiating with Russian players will remain difficult until an agreement is signed, players can still be brought over to North America at the NHL club's doing. If an agreement is not signed, teams such as the Lightning would not lose rights to Russian draftees such as Alex Polushin and Vasily Koshechkin next summer.

Falcons Add Spina

FalconsAHL.com is reporting Springfield has brought back forward David Spina. According to the release, Spina played in 54 games for the Falcons during the 2005-06 season collecting 11 goals and 13 assists for 24 points. Prior to joining the Falcons, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound native of Mesa, Arizona, registered seven goals in 11 games for the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL beginning last season.

Roster(s) Starting to Take Shape

With today's signing of Eric Healey, Bolt Prospects' Chad Schnarr believes the Lightning have hit their 50-man contract limit presuming they re-sign all outstanding RFA's. With that in mind we can begin to speculate on the shape of the rosters of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Springfield Falcons and Johnstown Chiefs for the 2006-2007 season.

Lightning Sign Eric Healey

According to ESPN.com, [url=http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/transactions]the Lightning have signed left wing Eric Healey to a two-way contract.[/url] The 31 year old forward spent much of last season with the Providence Bruins of the AHL scoring 29 goals and 71 points in 66 games. He also played 2 games with Boston last year at the NHL level, the only two NHL games of a career that has been split between the AHL, IHL, ECHL and the German DEL. The Hull, Massachussetts native is no stranger to Springfield as he played both the '99-'00 and '00-'01 seasons with the Falcons. Of local interest, he also spent part of the '98-'99 season with the Orlando Solar Bears of the IHL. Prior to becoming a pro, Healey graduated from RPI. Healey's signing may cap the offseason shaping of the Falcons roster, and may lock out any potential re-signing of Shane Willis, Jason Jaspers or Zdenek Blatny.
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