Opening Day of the Ceske Pojistovna Cup

In the opening game of the Ceske Pojistovna Cup, Sweden defeated Russia 2-1 on a 3rd period goal by Mikka Hannula scored with 32 seconds left in regulation. Neither Anton But nor Andreas Holmqvist made the scoresheet for their respective sides. As expected, But played on Russia's 2nd line with his Yaroslavl teammates Ivan Neprayev and Ivan Tkachenko. Holmqvist held down first pairing duties along side long time New York Islander Kenny Jonsson. Jimmie Olvestad played on the third line for Sweden as well. In the late game Czech Republic defeated Finland 2-1 on penalty shots.

Tale of the Tape: Mihalik Bigger than Advertised

Lightning first round pick Vladimir Mihalik frequently gets compared to fellow Slovakian defenseman Zdeno Chara. A Norris Trophy candidate with the Ottawa Senators the last time NHL hockey was played, Chara measures in at 6-feet, 9 inches, and 260 pounds. When Mihalik was measured before being chosen by Red Deer in the first round of the Canadian Hockey League Import Draft, he stood at 6-feet, 7 inches, and 220 pounds. The Lightning listed the same size for Mihalik when they chose him 30th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. However, when he arrived in Red Deer for training camp this week, Mihalik's exact measurements were 6-feet, 8 and 1/2 inches, and 234 pounds. Mihalik is now the tallest player in the Lightning organization, surpassing the 6-foot, 8 inch Mitch Fritz and 6-foot, 7 inch Arthur Femenella.

Anton But to Start on Second Line in First Leg of Euro Tour

Head coach Vladimir Krikunov has revealed his team at the Ceske Pojistovna tournament will feature a second line [url=http://www.rushockey.com/events.php?i=sl&stream=sl_interviews&id=294]comprised entirely of Yaroslavl forwards including Lightning prospect Anton But.[/url] In an interview with Sports Express Krikunov revealed plans to keep the chemistry developed between players in the Superleague in tact by featuring three lines with each comprised entirely of players from the Moscow Dynamo, Yaroslavl Lokomotiv and Metallurg Magnitogorsk. But's linemates will be Washington Capitals prospect Ivan Nepriayev and Columbus Blue Jackets property Ivan Tkachenko. The tournament begins today, September 1st, with Czech Republic squaring off with Finland and Russia playing Sweden.

Lightning Sign Tiley

The Tampa Bay Lightning in conjunction with the Springfield Falcons [url=http://www.falconsahl.com/detpages/pressbox2741.shtml]have signed 34 year old veteran defenseman Brad Tiley.[/url]

Darby to Return to Springfield

Veteran C Craig Darby confirmed he will be returning to the Springfield Falcons this season in [url=http://www.syracuse.com/crunch/poststandard/index.ssf?/base/sports-0/112539132043610.xml&coll=1&thispage=1]a story published by the Syracuse Post-Standard.[/url] The 32 year old veteran laments the new CBA's impact on veteran AHLers who now are waiver elligible if they make more than $75,000 in the minors. The provision has already forced veteran AHLers Eric Perrin and Shane Willis to Europe.

IIHF Approves Transfer of Bartanus to Owen Sound

Bartanus
According to the Owen Sound Attack [url=http://www.attackhockey.com/news_detail.asp?varID=439/]web site[/url], 2005 Tampa Bay Lightning fourth round pick Marek Bartanus will officially play in the Ontario Hockey League this upcoming season. The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) approved Bartanus' transfer card, enabling the Slovakian forward to take his game to North America. Attackhockey.com reported that several prospects' transfer cards were not approved by the IIHF this summer.

Lightning Sign Two More Prospects

Sportsnet Canada is reporting the Lightning [url=http://www2.sportsnet.ca/nhl/free_agent_tracker.html]have signed D Jay Rosehill and G Morgan Cey.[/url]

Kazionov Cut From Russian Euro Tour Team

Lightning prospect Dimitry Kazionov [url=http://www.rushockey.com/events.php?i=sl&stream=sl_news&id=288]has been cut from the Russian roster for the first leg of the Euro Tour.[/url] The young forward had been a part of Russia's preliminary roster for the tournament. Kazionov plays for Superleague club Lada Togliatti. Yaroslavl Lokomotiv winger and Lightning prospect Anton But remains on the team's roster. Head coach Vladimir Krikunov hinted he may cut the roster down by another forward and defenseman just before the fist game of the tournament against Sweden.

Polushin Still Lighting It Up in Russian Preseason

In action last week, [url=http://www.russianprospects.com/public/article.php?article_id=338&anchor=Main]Severstal Cherepovets won the Alexander Belosokhov Memorial Tournament going 2-1-0 for the round robin and then defeating Spartak Moscow in the final 2-0.[/url] The victory was in no small part due to the play of Lightning prospect winger Alexander Polushin who appears to have cemented a prominent role for Severstal this season.

Opinion: Why Springfield Matters More Than Ever

Today the Tampa Bay Lightning completed a trifecta of sorts [url=http://www.tampabaylightning.com/prdetail.cfm?pressreleaseID=1126&category=3]signing RW Martin St. Louis to a six year deal. [/url] Over the past two seasons, the core of the Tampa Bay Lightning has been, in my opinion, Dan Boyle, Nikolai Khabibulin, Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis. The unfortunate reality of the new CBA was that GM Jay Feaster was forced to try and re-sign 4 of his 5 core players under restrictive circumstances. Given the difficulties Feaster managed to sign Boyle, Lecavalier and St. Louis, and 3 out of 4 ain't bad. This is especially true considering the Lightning locked up one of it's two most important components (the other being Brad Richards) [url=http://www.tampabaylightning.com/prdetail.cfm?pressreleaseID=1122&category=3]Vincent Lecavalier to a 4 year deal.[/url] Lecavalier's [url=http://tsn.ca/nhl/news_story.asp?id=133790]reported $27.5 million dollar contract[/url] seemed to spark a lot of controversy within the Lightning fan base, however. Lightning fans asked how the team could be held together with Vinny making so much money. They wondered if the deal would force out St. Louis or possibly Pavel Kubina or Brad Richards next season. And, above all, they cursed teams like Boston and Calgary for raising the contracts of young superstars like Joe Thornton and Jarome Iginla to the stratospheric heights of over $6 million dollars a season. Indeed, it's sometimes hard for me to believe a penny conscious team like Bill Davidson's Tampa Bay Lightning just committed roughly $50 million dollars to two players in the span of just a week. Is this the shape of the new NHL?
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