Lightning Confirm Talks Underway With Three Prospects

Bolt Prospects has received confirmation from the Lightning that they have entered contract talks with three prospects: C [url=blair-jones]Blair Jones[/url], LW [url=justin-keller]Justin Keller[/url] and G [url=karri-ramo]Karri Ramo[/url]. Jones, who turns 20 in September, [i]would[/i] be elligible to suit up for Springfield next season should he and the Lightning reach agreement on an entry level deal. We're told all three prospects' talks are proceeding slowly due to financial differences. Of the three, only Keller must be signed by June 1st to avoid re-entry into the draft. Jones, who stands at 6'2" 195 lbs, finished 6th in the WHL in scoring for Moose Jaw this season posting 35 goals and 85 points in 72 games en route to being named a Second Team WHL All Eastern Conference Team selection. Jones also finished second in WHL playoff scoring with 9 goals and 21 points in 22 games. Justin Keller finished 5th in the WHL in scoring this year with 88 points and first in goals with 51. The Kelowna Rocket winger was the Western Conference nominee for WHL Player of the Year and named First Team WHL All Western Conference. Karri Ramo helped HPK capture the Finnish SM-liiga championship. The young goaltender was 7th in the league in save percentage (5th amongst goaltenders with 10 or more appearances) with a .929 mark and also had a 2.16 GAA. Ramo also appeared for Finland in the U-20 World Junior Championships.

World Championships Day Twelve

Martin Cibak was scoreless with three shots on goal today as Slovakia ran Ukraine out of the rink 8-0. The victory moved Slovakia into 4th in Qualifying Pool F on the final day of the Qualifying Round, leapfrogging idle Switzerland for the last spot in the Quarterfinal Round. On Wednesday, Sweden will play USA in the Quarterfinals and Canada will square off with Slovakia. Finland draws Belarus on Thursday.

World Championships Day Eleven

Fredrik Norrena stopped 10 of 11 shots faced in a little over 26 minutes of relief today in Finland's 4-2 loss to Canada. Starter Antero Nittymaki was pulled after allowing 3 goals on 14 shots faced. Andreas Holmqvist was scoreless and even in Sweden's 3-3 tie with Russia.

World Championships Day Ten

There were no Lightning properties in action yesterday at the World Championships. Today, Martin Cibak had his 2nd goal of the tournament as Slovakia knocked off Sweden 5-2. Cibak was -1 with 1 shot on goal and 2 penalty minutes in the game. Blueliner Andreas Holmqvist was scoreless with 2 shots on goal and a -1 rating for the Swedes. Fredrik Norrena improved to 2-0-0 on the tournament blanking Norway with an 18 save shutout. Also, defenseman Timo Helbling was a scratch in Switzerlands 6-3 loss at the hands of Russia. With two more days remaining in the Qualifying Round, Finland is atop Group E, 1 point ahead of Canada. In Group F, Sweden sits in 2nd place 3 points back of Russia, 1 point ahead of Switzerland and 2 points in front of Slovakia.

World Championships Day Eight

There were no Lightning properties in action yesterday. Today, Martin Cibak scored his first goal of the tournament for Slovakia, but the Swiss still managed to forge a 2-2 tie. Timo Helbling was -1 with 2 penalty minutes for Switzerland. Cibak was even with 4 penalty minutes and one shot on goal for the Slovaks. Fredrik Norrena again sat as Antero Nittymaki blanked Team USA 4-0. Andreas Holmqvist was scoreless and even for Sweden as they defeated Belarus 4-1.

Lightning Announce Lascek Signing

The Tampa Bay Lightning officially announced the signing of Chicoutimi's Stanislav Lascek today. In the team's release, General Manager Jay Feaster says,“Stan had a tremendous year in the Quebec League and was outstanding at the World Junior Championships this year. We are very pleased with his development to date, and we look forward to getting him started on his pro career.” Boltprospects learned of the signing yesterday, but an official announcement could not be made by the team until the proper paperwork from the player was received. Congratulations to Stan on earning his first professional contract and beginning what we hope to be a long and successful career in professional hockey.

Steve Pleau to Springfield?

According to the Peoria Journal Star Head Coach Steve Pleau of the Peoria Rivermen [url=http://www.pjstar.com/stories/051106/RIV_B9PGUQC1.077.shtml]has decided not to return as the team's coach next season and is said to be interested in pursuing the vacancy in Springfield.[/url] Peoria finished 46-26-3-5 last season, Pleau's first as a head coach, good for 100 points and third in the AHL Western Conference's ultra tough West Division. Pleau had spent 7 years as the assistant coach with Worcester and has spent 8 years in total coaching at the AHL level for the St. Louis Blues organization. His father Larry Pleau is the Blues GM. Steve Pleau will not be able to speak to the Lightning, however, until his contract expires with the Blues on July 1st.

Apologies for the Down Time

Bolt Prospects was down for about 3 hours tonight due to maintenance on our server. Seems we had a hardware problem and had to have a disk replaced. We went back online just before 12:30am tonight. Apologies for the inconvenience to all our readers.

Lightning, Lascek Finalizing Contract

According to a source close to [url=stanislav-lascek]Stanislav Lascek[/url], the QMJHL scoring star has signed a three-year entry level contract with the Lightning. The Lightning will not officially announce the signing until they receive the necessary paperwork from the player. Lightning General Manager Jay Feaster, while not confirming the signing, said negotiations with Lascek's agent "have gone well." Lascek, according to the source, is "happy and excited" after agreeing to the Lightning's offer. Lascek finished second in QMJHL scoring this season and led the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in assists and points. The Slovakian winger scored 47 goals and added 88 assists for 135 points in 64 games. He also accumulated 96 penalty minutes. Lascek scored 4 goals and a team-leading 17 points in 9 playoff games as the Sags fell in the second round to Gatineau.

World Championships Day Six

Martin Cibak got his first point of the tournament today against Russia assisting on Tomas Surovy's first period goal. Despite the contribution, however, Slovakia fell 4-3. Slovakia finished a disappointing third in Group C but still advances to the Qualification Round. At the end of a wild third period that saw the Swiss and Swedes score 6 goals in total, both teams were forced to settle for a 4-4 tie. Andreas Holmqvist was scoreless and even with 0 shots on goal for Sweden. Timo Helbling had the same box score line for the Swiss. Sweden wins Group B on goal differential. Switzerland, in second, advances to the Qualification Round as well. Fredrik Norrena's Finnish team clinched Group A yesterday. [b]Opening Round Statistics[/b] G Fredrik Norrena (FIN), 1-0-0, 3.00 GAA, .813 sv%, 0 SO D Andreas Holmqvist (SWE), 3 GP, 0-1-1, 0 PIM, +1, 5 SOG C Martin Cibak (SVK), 3 GP, 0-1-1, 2 PIM, +2, 3 SOG D Timo Helbling (SUI), 3 GP, 0-0-0, 0 PIM, E, 0 SOG LW Anton But was forced to withdraw his name from consideration for Team Russia prior to the tournament due to injury. But hurt his abductor injury during the Superleague season and was hobbled with the injury for much of the playoffs [url=http://www.russianprospects.com/public/tournament.php?tour_id=2006029&anchor=News]according to Russianprospects.com.[/url]
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