Kazionov to Dynamo

Both [url=http://www.russianprospects.com/public/tournament.php?tour_id=2006011&anchor=News&PHPSESSID=b4402cad104ec7e3e731a1d223b75f85]Russianprospects.com[/url] and Chelya's [url=http://www.tampabaylightning.ru]Tampabaylightning.ru[/url] are reporting C/W Dimitry Kazionov has been transferred to Moscow Dynamo of the Russian Superleague. The move came amidst a mass exodus of players from Togliatti as Lada lost roughly half of its players in a massive salary dumping measure. Goaltender Vasily Koshechkin, for the time being, remains with Togliatti (unfortunately). Kazionov will join Lightning prospect Albert Vishnyakov in a very deep Dynamo lineup. The bulk of Lada's players however, perhaps as many as eight depending on whether or not Caps prospect Alex Semin accepts his new playing address, ended up with Khimik MO. The mass influx of talent to Khimik MO may cost Alexei Glukhov valuable playing time, perhaps forcing him to transfer as well. So, unfortunately, this scenario hasn't played out well for the Lightning's prospects. Kazionov will likely remain in the 4th line defensive role he had for Lada. Alexei Glukhov may be out of steady work in Khimik. And, worst of all, Vasily Koshechkin will now have to back stop the equivalent of an Upper League team. Bad news all around.

Lightning Recall Gerald Coleman

Jonathan Boutin may be staying put in Springfield for a little while after all... Goaltender Gerald Coleman [url=http://www.falconsahl.com/detpages/pressbox2811.shtml]has been recalled by the Tampa Bay Lightning.[/url] The netminder is 3-2 this season for the Falcons with a .895 save percentage and a 3.21 goals against average.

Rogers Returns

After missing six games with an ankle injury, Andy Rogers returned to the ice for Prince George Tuesday night. Rogers was held scoreless and had an even rating for the game as the Cougars dropped a 4-3 decision in Portland. Prince George visits Justin Keller and the Kelowna Rockets tonight. Also Tuesday, Vladimir Mihalik was minus-one and had an obstruction-hooking penalty for Red Deer as the struggling Rebels lost 3-0 in Vancouver to the Giants. In the QMJHL, Mark Tobin was minus-two and had two penalty minutes as Rimouski lost to Lewiston, 4-2.

Eklund/Tarnasky Reassigned to Springfield

The Tampa Bay Lightning have [url=http://www.falconsahl.com/detpages/pressbox2810.shtml]reassigned Brian Eklund and Nick Tarnasky to Springfield of the AHL.[/url] Both players will be available for the Falcons' game Thursday at home against Manchester. As a consequence, expect Jonathan Boutin and perhaps one skater to be reassigned to Johnstown of the ECHL within the next 24-48 hours. The Chiefs' next game is Friday night against Trenton at home.

Game Night 10/8: Lightning at Canadiens

You've got a rookie goaltender in net... you've GOT to give him more than 2 goals of support. TB-2 MTL-3 On the one hand it's gratifying to see Ranger and Artyukhin be two of the best players for the Lightning tonight. On the other, it's frightening that they've been two of the best players for the Lightning both in Montreal and in Toronto. Shot totals were plenty lopsided at 34-19 in favor of the Lightning but scoring chances were pretty much even due to some thoughtless, sloppy play. Paul Ranger ended with an assist, a team leading +2, and 2 shots on goal in 15:39 of ice time. His final shift in the third period epitomized just how well he is playing at both ends of the rink, taking the body to win the puck on a Montreal dump in, keeping a puck in at the Montreal blueline for a shot on goal, then breaking up a 2-on-1 when Boyle was caught pinching to finish the shift off. Evgeny Artyukhin also had an assist and an impressive 5 hits in 17:35 of ice time. The entire rest of the team only had 6 hits combined. On the other side of the coin Nick Tarnasky only played 2 shifts tonight. 2. If that's all he's going to be used I believe the Lightning have an obligation to send him back to Springfield where he can actually play and develop. Brian Eklund stopped 16 of 19 shots faced in the loss. He was also beaten a handful of times and enjoyed the aid of the goalposts to save him. It was a rough spot to put Brian in for his premiere game and all told, he made enough saves to give the Lightning a chance at points. Again, with a rookie netminder in, just two goals is simply unacceptable in terms of support. Game sheet from [url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20052006/ES020227.HTM]NHL.com.[/url]

Rogers Remains Day-to-Day with Ankle Injury

The Prince George Cougars have confirmed that defenseman Andy Rogers is day-to-day with an ankle injury. Rogers, who nearly made the Lightning out of camp in September and was subsequently signed to a pro contract, has missed the Cougars' last six games. He has three assists in seven games played this year. Rogers missed several games last year for Calgary with a minor ankle injury. This injury could affect his participation in the ADT Canada-Russia Challenge. Rogers was named to Team WHL for the game against Russia in Regina on December 1. He was not named to the WHL squad that will play the Russians in Saskatoon November 30.

CHL Update

Lightning CHL prospects had a mediocre weekend this past Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as only one prospect made a lot of noise. Stan Lascek had a first star, five-point (1+4) night for Chicoutimi against P.E.I. on Saturday. Lascek’s point streak now stands at 11 games. Weekend Wrap-Up: QMJHL As mentioned, [b]Stanislav Lascek[/b] had a goal and four assists to pace Chicoutimi to a 5-2 win over P.E.I. Saturday. He was also plus-two for the game and had a two minute minor penalty. On Friday night, Lascek and the Sagueneens took on Lightning prospect Mark Tobin and the struggling Rimouski Oceanic. Lascek had two assists as Chicoutimi won 5-0. He also had six shots on goal. He is second in the QMJHL in scoring, two points behind teammate Maxime Boisclair. Six of Lascek’s 16 goals have come on the powerplay. Three others were scored shorthanded. Chicoutimi is just two points behind Division-leading Rouyn-Noranda with two games in hand.

TSN: Eklund Starts Tonight

TSN.ca is reporting that Brian Eklund [url=http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/feature/?fid=10460&hubname=]will make his first NHL start tonight against the Montreal Canadiens.[/url] The former 2000 7th round pick was called up last week when Sean Burke strained his groin in a practice session and rumors abound that starter John Grahame may also be ailing, prompting this decision.

Falcons/Lightning Looking to Extend Affiliation

According to the Springfield Republican, Falcons GM/Owner Bruce Landon is preparing to fly to Tampa in early December to hammer out a long term extention for the single affiliation agreement the team has with the Tampa Bay Lightning through the year 2010. The deal would coincide with the length of time left on the Falcons' lease with the newly rennovated Mass Mutual Center. The two organization's current affiliation agreement expires this summer.

Commentary: When Hacks Attack, The Sequel

In my last commentary I took on Hockey's Future's ludicrous organizational rankings. Deservedly, Hockey's Future showed the apropriate amount of shame for the pointed criticism they received for having the audacity to claim legitimacy in their rankings even though they had not updated their Lightning rankings in half a year, had not had an article up on their site about the Lightning in over two months and did not even have a full time writer dedicated to the Lightning. True, they STILL don't have a full time writer covering the team but they at least made an attempt to provide content on their site putting up a [url=http://www.hockeysfuture.com/article.php?sid=8052&mode=threaded&order=0]cookie cutter story regurgitating the Lightning CHL prospects' statistics. [/url] I say cookie cutter because this is the exact same assignment that was given to all 30 teams and it involves nearly zero in the way of cogent, thoughful analysis to cut and paste a players' statistics. Still, given two months of complete journalistic neglect (if we use the loosest definition of journalism to allow for what Hockey's Future has become over the past couple of years) it was at least something. And then today, much to the shock and surprise of the Lightning fan base, Hockey's Future [url=http://www.hockeysfuture.com/article.php?sid=8065&mode=threaded&order=0]finally released their top-20 rankings for the Tampa Bay Lightning[/url], albeit months later than most other teams. Unfortunately, this badly cobbled attempt at fulfilling the most bare minimum of their obligations as a hockey site claiming to cover the prospects of every team fell so far short that even the poor fellow who was told to post the article under his name [url=http://www.hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=188847]went onto HFboards to apologize to Lightning fans before his apology was pulled.[/url] I do not know whether he himself made the decision or if Hockey's Future management, ever more sensitive to the criticism that they're really and truly hacks with no qualifications or business critiquing the Tampa Bay Lightning's prospects, pulled the post. I do, however, know these rankings are awful. Riddle me this Hockey's Future, how the hell can you have a defenseman who was just demoted to the ECHL ranked as the best prospect in the Lightning organization while Paul Ranger, who is in the NHL averaging 15 minutes of ice time a night with a very respectable +1 rating sits at 9th? Better yet, maybe you can explain to your readers why Nick Tarnasky, who also is in the NHL today is only the 19th best prospect in the organization? It boggles the mind.
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