Johnstown Adds Three to Camp Roster

[url=] is reporting[/url] the Johnstown Chiefs have made three additions to their roster. The team has signed defenseman Bryan Nathe, whose rights they acquired from Dayton earlier this month. The club has also signed forward Gary Klapowski and defenseman Ian MacLean to PTO contracts. Klapowski is a local product from Pittsburgh, PA who was out of hockey last year after spending parts of three seasons in the OHL with Kitchener, Plymouth and Saginaw. Standing at 5'9" 190 lbs, the right wing's best junior season came in 2004-2005 when he had 1 goal and 6 points in 30 games with Saginaw. MacLean is a product of SUNY Brockport's Division III college program where he had 2 goals and 8 points in 20 games last year as a sophomore. Prior to college, MacLean played for North York of the OPJHL in 2003-2004 where he had 5 goals and 33 points in 44 games with 54 PIMs.

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I can't understand that TB

I can't understand that TB has sent prospects like Smolenak and Lascek in ECHL with this kind of players ( MacLean , Klapowski, and others )after the great season they had in MAJOR JUNIOR last year!!!!!!!!Probably only bad draft choices....Do you imagine like they fell???? They are motivated now???? I know a lot of junior players from last year who wasn't good like Smolenak and Lascek who are playing in AHL but in TB some of their best prospects are only ECHL level players!!!! No vision and respect!!!!!

Hang On

First off, these are just tryout players and probably unlikely to make the team. Second, if Desharnais (and Czuy) hadn't backed out of his deal with the Lightning players like Klapkowski would have no chance at all of making the Chiefs. The reason why the Lightning have some of their best prospects in the ECHL is because they went into this season with the intention of building something no NHL organization had tried which was to fill both their AHL and ECHL affiliates top to bottom with young talent. Unfortunately, there's still the stigma on the ECHL that chases away talent like Desharnais and is making it hard to set up Johnstown like a "AA" affiliate the way they want to, to use a baseball analogy. As far as Lascek and Smolenak go, would you prefer they play 20+ minutes a night in Johnstown or only 4-6 minutes a night in Springfield like Henrich and Fritz? BTW, Ryan Craig started his career in the Lightning organization in the ECHL too as a rookie, and he turned out alright.

Smolelak and Lascek can

Smolelak and Lascek can play on regular base in AHL like Keller and Jones maybe better. And for me AHL is to devellop our best prospects not to give the fith chance to players like Spina, Deveaux or Cavanaugh.... ECHL is not better than Major Junior in Canada and they (Smolenak an Lascek) have dominated at this level. If TB sent them there it's because they are not in their best prospects after their evaluation!!!!! Ryan Craig wasn't a top prospect for TB (8th round ) and he never dominate WHL ( ). If Smolenak and Lascek had stats like Craig and 8 or 9th round draft pick i would be agree with you , It's a mistake by TB....just my opinion!!!!!!!

Never Dominated the WHL?

42 goals and 74 points in in 60 games isn't dominating? That's the same number of goals Smolenak had in 65 games last year and just 10 less points, and we both know the WHL is the tightest checking of the three junior leagues. And Craig was about on par with Lascek at the time in terms of his importance in the organization, as I recall. Be careful when you pull out the draft round card, because the Lightning have made NHLers out of Craig (8th round) and Ranger (6th round) in the last year and have Tarnasky (9th round) in the NHL right now. Bottom line: where your drafted only matters on one day in June when you get picked. Beyond that, you play for your position in the organization. Also, Craig was only an 8th round pick because of the catastrophic knee injury he had at 17-18 that knocked his career back a year. Prior to that knee injury, I know of people who thought Craig had the pedigree of a 1st rounder. And you have to have some veteran players on your AHL team if you want your AHL affiliate to be successful. Having 4 rookies at forward from the very start is a dangerous recipe. Cavanaugh, by the way, is definitely the kind of guy you need to have on your AHL team. As far as Deveaux goes, would you prefer Lascek was sitting in a press box like Andre did Saturday or would you rather Stan get 20+ minutes a night in the ECHL? And no, the CHL isn't a better level of hockey than the ECHL. If it were, guys like Henrich would've put up better numbers in the E than they did in the OHL when they were in junior. The ECHL is a mens league, the CHL is populated with teenagers. Big difference. I can tell you one of the player agents for one of the Lightning's goaltending prospects LOVES the ECHL as an intermediate developmental step between junior/college and the AHL because you get more playing time in the ECHL. The Lightning are trying to establish the ECHL as that kind of intermediate step for skaters too and not just goaltenders. Unfortunately, as your comments vividly illustrate, there's still such a stigma on the ECHL that the Lightning are having a hard time making Johnstown into what they want to. But, if Smolenak and Lascek want out of the ECHL, there's a simple way to acheive that. Craig tore up the ECHL and was named ECHL Player of the Week his first week in Pensacola and was quickly recalled and never went back. If Smolenak or Lascek really deserve to be in the AHL over a guy like Spina, all they have to do is put up the numbers to prove it just like Craig did.

At 20 years old and after 5

At 20 years old and after 5 years in WHL!!!!!! Just 34 pts less than the league leader ...... Are you serious???? Craig didn't dominate WHL!!!!! Lascek and Smolenak aren't at the same level than Deveaux...i hope for TB!!!! And why Jones and Keller start in AHL and not the others?????? I'm agree it's a good league for goalies and fighters!!!! For example i can't find one serious prospect from QMJHL in all ECHL team rosters but the best fighters like Marty Doyle and Jimmy Bonneau are there!!! What TB did with Lascek and Smolenak it's a joke!!!!!! P.S. You think it's a prospects league when you have 16 players at the camp and you must signed D3 college and retired players???? Not me sorry!!!!!!!

1.23 Points Per Game Isn't Domination?

That's the clip Craig put up before he hurt his knee, 1.23 points per game. Smolenak scored at 1.29 points per game. Honestly, does that .06 points per really make Ryan Craig chopped chicken liver? Lost in your comments about Deveaux is your refusal to answer my question: would you rather have Lascek playing minimal minutes or sitting in a press box in Springfield or playing 20+ minutes a night in Johnstown? Which is better for his development? And don't act like no scorers have ever come out of the E. Michael Ryder spent parts of his first TWO seasons out of junior in the ECHL. And the reason why Jones and Keller made it to Springfield and Lascek and Smolenak didn't is because they WON their jobs fair and square. True, Lascek had extenuating injury circumstances, but like I said if he puts up the numbers he'll get recalled quickly. You seem to have this expectation that a player should be handed a job based on reputation or what they did last season in junior. That's not how the Lightning operate. You compete to earn your spot in camp and your play determines where you go from there. Not your draft position. Not your reputation. It's your play. Finally, how many times does it need to be reiterated to you MacLean and Klapkowski are TRYOUT players who are unlikely to make the team? And the team now has 19 officially on their roster and Todd Griffith is supposedly in Johnstown too. My suggestion would be to just wait and see what happens when the team announces its roster before their opener on Friday before leaping to conclusions. Chances are the Falcons will send down a player or two like Henrich and/or Deveaux as well by then.

Maybe this will shed some light on Lascek This says the lightning want him to work on his skating. The 4 days I saw him at prospect camp indicated he needs to work on his shot also. As for Smolenak, he played hard 1 day out of 4 at prospects camp and the day I saw him in the Lightning camp scrimmage he was a wallflower around the big guys. I believe the message is, "Play hard every time your skates hit the ice. then maybe you'll get what you think you deserve." Smolenak is a great looking specimin. So's Alexeev.

We have a great skater (19

We have a great skater (19 years old )from Slovakia this season at Chicoutimi ...check his stats and you will understand that hockey is more than skating. Give to Lascek the chance to play in AHL and after we will speak !!! P.S. Lascek isn't the best skater but is not so bad.....

Craig's Skating

Craig was a terrible skater two years ago too, so Lascek's skating doesn't at all rule him out as a potential NHLer. What he has to prove to me, more than anything, is that he can handle the tighter checking and go into the high traffic areas. It's one thing to play in the Q when you have much more space and time, it's another to play in the ECHL, AHL and NHL when you've almost always got a defender within a stick length of you.

I understand that you never

I understand that you never saw him......

I understand that the

I understand that the Lightning's head scout publicly called Lascek a "power play specialist" because he's far more effective with time and space than in traffic at even strength. The speed in the pros makes the checking far more tighter than it is in the QMJHL, even in what you refer to as a "fighter's league" like the ECHL, and Stanislav needs to be ready to adjust to it. I suspect you'll see this has all been much ado about nothing because Lascek and Smolenak will probably get recalled quickly. I think Hrdel, Henrich and Deveaux, if they aren't demoted already by Johnstown's opener, will have a very difficult time fending Radek and Stan off. Hrdel, in particular, has looked exceptionally useless in the two Springfield games I've seen so far this year.

I just don't understand why

I just don't understand why TB demotived prospects like them ( sending in ECHL) but the season is just starting.....I know very well Hrdel and is not a first class prospect. Now it's enough for me..i will wait!!!


His skating didn't concern me when I saw. But one of his primary assets as a playmaker is that he penetrates the defense before dishing it off. A little more explosiveness might make him a little more dangerous. Also, you might not be familiar with Blair Jones and Justin Keller who stayed in Springfield. Might they not get some credit for working their way past Lascek and Smolenak? Springfield is an important affilliation for Tampa Bay and they're feeling some pressure to field a play-off team there, hence a few veterans taking some prsopect spots there. The Lightning now also has a substantial ownership interest in Johnstown, hence they have incentive to make them a play-off contender and give the area a couple of future NHL players for goodwill and marketing purposes.

I told you's better

I told you's better for Lascek and Smolenak to go back in Europe (Cez Extraliga ) than to play in league like ECHL where fighters are kings!!!!! If they can't play in AHL i hope that they will think about European hockey!!They loose 2 weeks to do nothing at Johnstown..... P.S. Lascek for one was at the same level, if not better, last year than players like Zagrapan, Karsums or Krejci who are all in AHL.....real prospects are in AHL!!!!!!!

I wouldn't agree

To go back to Europe to avoid physical play will not make them more ready for the pounding they'll take in average NHL game, particularly Smolenak. If he had an edge to his game, he wouldn't be in Johnstown long, nor likely in Springfield that long. You've got to be scrappy for the most part to play in the NHL. Richard's doesn't appear that way, but he's very strong for his size and not many guys bother to take shots at him. Plus ECHL goons aren't going to make a name for themselves picking on Lascek. In fact they'll be called out for going after those guys. They need to be here, play their tails off and move their way along quickly. If they go back across the ocean, the Lightning will certainly make them come back and retrace their steps. They both would certainly lose more than a year of NHL time. This situation may only delay them as much as a couple of months.

Sago, by the way

Thanks for your perspective from over their. It makes this more than a news site for all things Lightning. A little bit of fresh debate is fun.

Both your boys

have a goal and an assist in the 1st 2 periods of the 1st exhibition game. They're not laying down and pouting.

Johnstown lost 5-4 and

Johnstown lost 5-4 and Lascek has 2 goals and one assist ( 3 pts) in QMJHL!!!!!! He will not improve his play there....


Seems to me if Lascek and/or Smolenak put numbers up like that for a couple of weeks in the ECHL, Spina will have a really hard time fighting them off.

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