Jones: Rogers/O'Brien at Head of the Line?

In Tom Jones' [url=]article on the trade of Darryl Sydor[/url] he suggests rookies [url=andy-rogers]Andy Rogers[/url] or [url=doug-obrien]Doug O'Brien[/url] might be in line for a job in Tampa next season. However, GM Jay Feaster still hopes to acquire another veteran defenseman for close to the league minimum of $450,000. Obviously, the shedding of Sean Burke and his $1.6 million dollar salary would significantly improve Feaster's chances of landing another third pairing defenseman to round out the team's roster.

Sydor Traded [url=]reports defenseman Darryl Sydor has been traded to the Dallas Stars in exchange for a 4th round pick.[/url] The move frees over $2.1 million dollars of payroll under the salary cap. It also could be the beginning of the Lightning stockpiling draft picks which could help them at the trade deadline this year as well as at the draft table next June. In addition, the chances of Tampa hopefuls like Andy Delmore, [url=andy-rogers]Andy Rogers[/url] or [url=matt-smaby]Matt Smaby[/url] making the team out of camp have greatly appreciated.

Dimitri Kazionov Trasfers to Kazan is reporting 2002 4th round pick Dimitri Kazionov has transferred from Moscow Dynamo to Ak Bars Kazan of the Russian Superleague. Dimitri is the brother of 2006 draftee Denis Kazionov who played for Tver this season.

Lightning Ink Filip Kuba to Three Year Deal

Hours after losing Pavel Kubina to the Toronto Maple Leafs via free agency, Jay Feaster and the Tampa Bay Lightning replace one of the oldest tenured Bolts with Minnesota Wild blueliner Filip Kuba. In a quote reported on, Lightning GM Jay Feaster said, "Filip Kuba is a solid, steady, top-four, All-Star defenseman who has adapted well to the new NHL. We believe that playing within our system will enable him to post even bigger offensive numbers and we are confident our forwards will enjoy playing with someone who is able to get them the puck quickly and help with our transition game. While we were disappointed to lose Pavel Kubina today, we are excited to fill that hole with such a high-caliber player."

Alexeev Returns is reporting the Bolts have brought back Nikita Alexeev. The towering Russian winger, who failed to earn a roster spot in 2003-2004, will again compete for a spot the Lightning this season. While Alexeev's speed is needed on the Tampa roster, he must show an improved work ethic to earn a regular role.

Lightning Sign Two

According to the CTV Sportsnet Free Agent Tracker, the Lightning have signed Swedish center Andreas Karlsson and former Columbus Blue Jacket defenseman Andy Delmore. A Lightning press release stated both are expected to compete for spots on the NHL club. Karlsson, a 6-4 two-way forward, played last season with HV 71 in Sweden. The 30 year-old former Thrasher scored 26-29-55 and was a +18 in 50 games with the club. Delmore, a 29 year-old backliner, had 72 points in 66 games for Syracuse of the AHL last season. He played in seven games with the Blue Jackets, going scoreless. Delmore began last season as a Detroit Red Wing after signing a free agent contract, but was waived before the season started. Delmore actually signed with EHC Basel of the Swiss National League in May before agreeing to terms with the Lightning.

Kubina and Grahame are Gone

According to Pavel Kubina has signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs for 4 years at $5M per season. Best of luck to Toronto with that. I think Pavel is really only worth about half that. Apparently the Hurricanes have signed John Grahame to a two year deal for about 1.5M per. Boston has loaded up by signing Chara and Marc Savard. Phoenix has signed Ed Jovanovski.

Alexeev Returning?

Tampa GM Jay Feaster stated on WDAE radio in Tampa today that there is a very strong possibility disgruntled Russian winger Nikita Alexeev will return to the Lightning for 2006-2007. Alexeev cannot be signed until July 1. Feaster was very optimistic a deal could be done with Alexeev. Feaster again hinted at the club using free agency to address their blueline needs. Stay tuned.

At Long Last, Lightning Acquire No.1 Goaltender

After weeks and months of waiting, the Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired a No.1 goaltender. TSN is reporting Tampa Bay GM Jay Feaster sent left winger and alternate captain Fredrik Modin and recently signed goaltender Fredrik Norrena to Columbus for goaltender Marc Denis. While the Lightning gave up a significant amount to acquire Denis, the importance of the goaltending position was made crystal clear last season as co-No.1's John Grahame and Sean Burke struggled as the defending champion Lightning snuck into the playoffs as an eighth seed after Nikolai Khabibulin left for Chicago. More analysis to follow.

No Lightning Prospects Selected in CHL Import Draft

The CHL Import Draft [url=]was held on Wednesday[/url] and in the end neither [url=denis-kazionov]Denis Kazionov[/url] nor [url=riku-helenius]Riku Helenius[/url] were selected by teams from the QMJHL, OHL and WHL. The outcome is not terribly surprising considering Helenius' military commitments but there was a slight chance that Kazionov might be selected and convinced to come over. Instead, the Lightning will have to wait until next year to see the Tver winger make his North American debut.
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