Fletcher In, Femenella Out for TC
University of Vermont graduate Arthur Femenella will not be able to attend next month's prospect tournament in Traverse City, Michigan after all.
According to the Lightning, Femenella, a 6-7, 240-pound defenseman/forward, had surgery last week to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder and will be out until November.
Taking Femenella's place in Michigan will be recently signed defenseman Justin Fletcher. A 2007 graduate of St. Cloud State, Fletcher was signed by the Lightning this spring. Fletcher played well enough on an ATO with AHL Springfield late last season to earn a one-year contract with Tampa Bay. His inclusion on the Traverse City roster will help bring more offense from the blueline.
The news on Femenella is just the latest in a string of injury reports that have littered his collegiate career.
In March, Femenella was placed on Vermont's extended injury list with a wrist injury that reportedly required surgery. With the injury, the native of Annandale, New Jersey saw his senior season come to an end after just 13 games. In his junior year, he missed all but eight games and he also battled injuries in both his freshman (27 games played) and sophomore (21 games played) years when he played both wing and defense.
It was unclear where Femenella would end up in the Lightning organization this summer, so the invitation to Traverse City was regarded as a fresh start of sorts. In fact, Femenella was slated to attend Norfolk's AHL training camp next month as an unsigned invitee.
This latest set-back will prohibit his involvement in Norfolk and his future with the Lightning is again unclear.