Lightning Re-Acquire Gratton, Again is reporting the Lightning have traded a 2nd round pick in either 2007 or 2008 to the Florida Panthers in exchange for center Chris Gratton. Gratton, who was the Lightning's 1st round pick in 1993, will be making his third tour of duty with the Lightning. In 1008 career NHL games he has scored 204 goals and 544 points. In 81 games last season Gratton scored 13 goals and 35 points in 81 games with 94 penalty minutes. His career season came in 1996-1997 with the Lightning when he had 30 goals and 62 points in 82 games to go along with 201 penalty minutes. Gratton signed an offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers the subsequent offseason and left Tampa with the infamous Phil Esposito smudged fax fiasco. Gratton returned in 1999 from Philadelphia and served as the Lightning's captain during the 1999-2000 season before being dealt to the Buffalo Sabres in a multi-player deal that included then-rookie defenseman Cory Sarich. Gratton will assume the Lightning's third line center role next season.

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I brought up Gratton's name at the trade deadline and from the response then, I suspect this an indication that Hell has frozen over.

Per TSN: "Gratton will assume the Lightning's third line center role next season."

I guess that guarantees Karlsson's spot on Richards' line and pushes Perrin and Tarnasky permanently to the wings?

Prospal - LeCavalier - St. Louis
Karlsson - Richards - ???
Craig - Gratton - Ward
Perrin? - Taylor - Tarnasky
Roy ??

This isn't working for me. Is Perrin gone now? Roy? Is this a precurser to other moves - like signing Weimer and trading for Langkow?

I really don't have a lot against Gratton even though he hasn't been worth as much as a 2nd for at least 5 years.

What's really up, Jay?


Anyone think Straka would be a decent option? He makes about a mil more than Prospal, and I would be willing to bet he would put up career numbers playing LW with Lecavalier and St. Louis.

Perhaps Prospal+a pick+prospect for Straka.

WOW - You've got to kidding

I think Gratton definitely brings some grit, attitude, and face-off dominance- like all the things Taylor was to have brought; with an edge and hockey skills. In other words, this truly signals the end for Taylor (I pray!). It shows management is serious about improving- by bringing Taylor back it would deliver quite the opposite message.

I agree

If it looked like Taylor were out of the picture, this move makes much more sense standing alone. But, at $1.5 mil. (essentially Feds' money from last year) it's leaving almost no room to bring in both a 2nd line winger and a decent vet D'man on last years cap number. If the cap number goes to $52 mil., then a lot of teams have the room to get one of the big 3 on the condition that they take Denis also.

I don't know why, but this move gives me that suspicion.

Never mind

I see where the Lightning signed Hlavac back out of Europe to a "cap friendly" contract to play with Richie and Karlsson. Oh joy! I can hardly contain myself. Euro flavor of the new season.

Craig at 100%?

Not knowing full details, I understood that Craig suffered a near career-ending injury in his Juniors... is there any indication that his slow comeback this season might be related to a more serious condition...and can that stand to affect the roster further?

We need tools; maybe we're getting some

Had Perrin scored 10 more goals, he would be a shoe in for second line. He played as a top 6 forward 85% of the time, and played very effectively- he could of had 20 more- he was always apart of the play; maybe our best forechecker(besides 26). Had a few more gone in early, he may have gotten some momentum (confidence) Instead he started sqeezing the stick. Don't count him out!... I hope we plan to keep him. Gratton played some on a line with Jokinen(against us). Ward played effectively with Brad. Hlavac can wheel. Karlsson led the Swedish Elite League in scoring 2 yrs. ago.

Anybody notice how much faster the Panthers were than us last year?

The Lightning is a great opportunity for someone to step in and establish themselves as a very competent top 6 NHL forward; Nick might surprise!


Not to do yet another comparison, Perrin's first year point-wise was pretty much in line with St. Louis' first year with the Bolts. His speed is definately an asset, and I thought that the Perrin-Ward pairing on the second line was a deadly combination...needing just a little more time. I hope that Perrin's own value is not lost on management... he's too often cast in the shadow of an already NHL-developed St. Louis.

Everything you wanted to know about Ryan Craig's knees

Did some digging from my old HF stories...

Craig had a serious injury in his draft year, 2001-2002. He missed 15 or so games, but instead of surgery he came back and played on it and captained his team to the WHL Conference Finals. 21 points in 19 games. Not bad. This was his RIGHT knee.

That offseason, he had the surgery, and therefore missed the first month of the 2002-2003 season because of rehab. He came back strong, scored 2 goals (including the GWG) in his first game back. He finished the year healthy, including another solid playoff run.

He was fine in the AHL and TB until last fall, when he injured the SAME knee. Grade 2 MCL Sprain. No surgery. Just rehab program. He missed "just" 3 weeks, but was supposed to miss more than a month.

In April, he missed a few games because of a slight sprain to his LEFT knee.

Brad's got a new winger

and its...Jan Hlavac

"Jan Hlavac is a highly skilled player who we believe will fit in well within our group of top six forwards and a player we hope will develop some chemistry with Brad Richards,'' executive vice president and general manager Jay Feaster said. ''He is an excellent skater and is both a playmaker and a guy who can finish."

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