First off, Bolt Prospects apologizes for being down last night. Unfortunately we had some technical difficulties with the ISP that our server runs on that took about 12 hours to remedy. The site is up and running again now and we don't foresee any related problems in the near future.
Second, stay tuned to Bolt Prospects over the next few weeks as we are expecting to get a glimpse at the preliminary roster for the Traverse City prospect tournament pretty soon.
With all of that out of the way, the flurry of free agent signings that came in the first three weeks of July seems to have subsided. The team now has 47 players under contract that will count against the 50-man roster limit, with Ryan Craig remaining to be signed who will be the 48th. For the most part the roster is set, which offers the opportunity to speculate on how the Lightning's organizational roster and lines will look at the NHL, AHL and ECHL level.
The nominations are in and the list has been carefully whittled down to 21: The Bolt Prospects Lightning All-Time All-Dog team, a celebration of the very worst of the Lightning's first 14 years in the league. The rules were simple: no player whose rights are currently held by the Lightning could make the list (no need to poison present day morale) and only players with 10 or more games in a Lightning jersey could carry home the coveted silver dog dish. The competition was fierce, but in the end, the liquidy nasty stuff sank to the bottom.
Image Courtesy haggul.com
So without further adieu, the Bolt Prospects Lightning All-Time All-Dog Team, sponsored by former Chicago Blackhawks coach Alpo Suhonen and, of course, Michael Vick.
According to David Michaud, broadcast analyst for the Kelowna Rockets, Lightning 2007 seventh round pick Torrie Jung will not be the clear-cut No.1 goaltender in Kelowna this year as expected. Jung played well in relief work last year after former Minnesota Wild draft pick Kristofer Westblom was injured. Westblom was not signed by the Wild and may return to the WHL as an overager.
Approximately one month ago, Lightning Head Scout Jake Goertzen told Rocket's play-by-play announcer Regan Bartel that his main wish for Jung next year was to see him get more playing time. That just became a little more difficult.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed defenseman Doug Janik to a one-year, two-way contract, Executive Vice President & General Manager Jay Feaster announced.
Janik, a 6-foot-1, 209-pound native of Agawam, Massachusetts, played his first full NHL season with Tampa Bay in 2006-07 after earning a roster spot during training camp. He finished the season with two goals and 11 points in 75 games. Janik averaged 14:28 of ice time per game last season and ranked fourth among Lightning defensemen in blocked shots with 98. He scored his first NHL goal on January 2 at Montreal and recorded his first point on November 22 at Florida. Janik also played in one Stanley Cup Playoff game. He is a veteran of 85 regular season games and six playoff games with the Lightning and the Buffalo Sabres.
The Mississippi Sea Wolves have announced the signing of center Mark Hurtubise. The 23 year old center played last year for Long Beach of the ECHL notching 17 goals and 41 points in 71 games. The previous season, his rookie season of pro hockey, was spent with Adirondack of the UHL where he scored 24 goals and 66 points in 68 games. The 6'2" 185 lbs pivot played four seasons of junior hockey in the QMJHL with Quebec and Val d'Or. His career season came in 2004-2005 when he scored 18 goals and 55 points in 53 games. Hurtubise is just the third player under contract in Mississippi along with defenseman Chris Cava and forward Kyle McCullough.
(Tampa Bay Lightning press release)
The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed left wing Karl Stewart to a one-year, two-way contract, Executive Vice President & General Manager Jay Feaster announced.
Stewart, acquired in a trade with Chicago for Nikita Alexeev on February 27, skated in seven games with the Lightning in 2006-07, recording two shots and two penalty minutes. A 5-foot-11, 180-pound native of Aurora, Ontario, Stewart, 24, appeared in 47 NHL games with Tampa Bay, Chicago and Pittsburgh last season, recording two goals, three assists and 47 penalty minutes.
â€œThis will be a very important Training Camp for Karl Stewart,â€ Feaster said. â€œThis will be his first Camp under John Tortorella and this is where opportunities and jobs are won or lost. He needs to come into Camp in great shape and with a very positive attitude and do the little things that are essential within our system. If he does that he will give himself a chance to stick with the big Club. If not, he provides us with outstanding depth in Norfolk and we know he is knocking on the door of being an NHL regular."
We're going to switch gear and do something a little fun over the next week or two. One of the next features we're going to have on the site, now that we've released our 15th season All-Time Lightning Team is to create the All-Time Lightning All-Dog Team. We're going to go back through 14 seasons of Lightning hockey to reminisce on some of the worst players ever to wear the bolt and we need your help in crafting the list.
Here's the rules:
1.) You can't nominate any player whose rights are currently held by the Lightning. We're not looking to poison morale in the present, just to look back fondly on some of the bad old days. Sorry Tim Taylor haters, take it down the road.
2.) Whoever you nominate has to have played at least 10 games in a Lightning jersey. You lucked out Mario Larocque.
In the end we hope to have 12 awful forwards, 1 punchless enforcer, 6 defenseless defensemen and 2 sieve-like goaltenders. Nominees will be graded by the Bolt Prospects staff based on only the most unscientific of criteria, the foremost of which will be the shear stench they emitted while on the rink.
Don't feel like you have to give us all 22 players. Individual nominations are actually preferred. Use this blog thread to nominate who you think was the biggest mutt in Lightning history and give us a paragraph on why you think that player should be thrown in the pound. Then, keep checking Bolt Prospects over the next couple of weeks to see if we put your pooch on the list.
Tampa Bay Lightning Assistant General Manager Claude Loiselle will serve as General Manager of the American Hockey Leagueâ€™s Norfolk Admirals, it was announced by Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Jay Feaster.
Now that we're in a lull in the hockey world (and talking about logos to pass the time), I thought it would be a good time to roll out a couple of features we've been kicking around here at Bolt Prospects for a while. Without much fanfare, the Lightning will reach a bit of a milestone this coming season as it will be their 15th in the NHL. The franchise is coming of age. 5 playoff appearances, 2 division titles and a Stanley Cup later the Lightning are no longer the league's fledgling Southern experiment. The Lightning, the first of their expansion cousins to hoist Lord Stanley's chalice, have proven hockey can work south of the Mason Dixon and have etched their place in the sport's history with blood, sweat and unyielding effort.
To celebrate this milestone, Bolt Prospects would like to take you on a trip down memory road to a fairgrounds halfway to Brandon, a baseball stadium in St. Petersburg, and a Forum that used to be a Palace. In these places, which now only exist in our recollection, we saw dozens of world class athletes put on the Lightning sweater and challenge the elite of the NHL. This, we think, is the best of the best: Bolt Prospects' All-Time Lightning Team:
Since the Lightning's new logo unofficially leaked on the internet a couple of days ago there's been a groundswell of outrage in the Lightning fan base. I hate to divert from the primary focus of the website which is covering prospects to talk about fashion issues, but seeing as this is the identity of the franchise we're talking about, I understand why passions are riding high amongst the fan base. And, seeing as Erik Erlendsson posted it on his blog, I figured he gives us professional cover to do so as well.
In my opinion, the logo itself isn't terrible. The font on the text is tragically cartoonish though, like they came straight out of the old Batman television series and Adam West and Burt Ward just "Bam, splat, bort, biffed, Tampa Bayed" a bad guy. It's HORRIBLE. It's way too childish and too kitschey. It's hard to take that logo seriously as a result.
For my money I've always loved the Lightning's secondary logo with the silhouette of the state in the background. I've always thought that was the classiest part of the Lightning's uniform. Give me jet black jerseys (like the Springfield Falcons' home jerseys with some simple blue trim around the waist, maybe even have the same white old school lace ties in the front too), jet black pants with the lightning bolts on the side, and jet black socks and switch the primary and secondary logos in order on the hierarchy and that's the uniform I would want. Simple, elegant, fierce. You know when they say "(Insert name of color here) is the new black." When they say that I always wonder why not just go ahead with black? It worked for Spinal Tap with their album cover on Smell the Glove did it not?
Kidding aside, what do you all think? The new logo designs are posted after the jump.