Not only did the Lightning open their 15th season with the start of their NHL training camp today, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) began their 2007-2008 regular season.
St. John Sea Dogs 1 @ Lewiston MAINEiacs 4
D Michael Ward, LEW: 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM, 2 SOG
Game Notes: League champion Lewiston opened their defense of the President's Cup with a sound win over St. John. The MAINEiacs scored four unanswered goals, including three in the third period. Ward and Lewiston's power play went 1/8. Ward had no goals and seven assists in 58 games with limited ice time last season in Lewiston.
The British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) began their games this past weekend. Seventh round pick (2007) Justin Courtnall was scoreless for the Victoria Grizzlies, who fell to the visiting Nanaimo Clippers 3-1. The Grizzlies play their second game on Saturday. Courtnall had 5 goals and 9 assists in 53 games for Burnaby (BCHL) last year.
Since Jay Feaster took over as general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2002, two things have stood out as being top priorities with the organizationâ€”winning and work ethic.
Success is earned.
In this meritocracy system, Feaster will do whatever it takes to win, and if a player doesnâ€™t perform up to expectations, he is in danger of losing his spot on the depth chart, if not the roster.
Starting off their pro careers on the right foot is essential for young prospects in the organization, such as the 20 that finished eighth out of eight teams in last weekâ€™s Traverse City (TC) prospects tournament in Michigan. Individual performances aside, winning is priority number one with the club and the last-place finish is not sitting well with the general manager.
â€œI am not pleased with the results,â€ Feaster made sure to tell Bolt Prospects before providing player evaluations.
Bolt Prospects has been the only site archiving the Lightning's Traverse City statistics since the team began participating in the tournament. This post is to archive this year's statistics, which come courtesy of Pointstreak, and to link to past years statistics for comparison purposes.
Crisdotero also blogged some quotes from Lightning GM Jay Feaster today regarding the play of the team's prospects at the Traverse City tournament.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Feaster raves about the play of forward Radek Smolenak and admits several organizations expressed praise for Smolenak's play and lauds defenseman Mike Lundin's strong play in the tournament.
Bolt Prospects will have more on the Lightning organization's reaction to the Traverse City tournament later this week.
Damian Crisdotero reports on his blog that prospect defenseman Vladimir Mihalik has been pulled from the Lightning camp roster due to a pulled groin muscle. He will be replaced on the roster by overage prospect David Schneider.
Erik Erlendsson also indicates on his blog that part of the Lightning's decision to remove Mihalik from Tampa camp was due to Mihalik having no realistic chance of making the team at this point in his career. Ouch.