Yesterday the Johnstown Chiefs acquired goaltender Mike Betz from the Wheeling Nailers for cash. The 24 year old 5'10" 173 lb. netminder was a four year starter at Ohio State of the CCHA before taking a year off to serve in the Peace Corps. His best college season came as a junior when he posted a 20-11-5 record with a 2.24 GAA and a .904 save percentage. Prior to college he played two seasons with Sioux City of the USHL. To this point in his ECHL career he has played just one game with the Fresno Falcons in the 2004-2005 season.
The move is an indication of the permanent status of goaltender Jonathan Boutin's callup to Springfield. Bolt Prospects has learned from the Lightning that the organization now has moved Boutin and Gerald Coleman ahead of Brian Eklund on the team's depth chart and have informed Eklund of his diminished role. Rumors last week in the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat about a potential trade of one of Springfield's goaltenders almost certainly revolved around Eklund. From this point forward, Boutin and Coleman are expected to fight it out to decide who the #3 goaltender in the organization will be.
620 WDAE is reporting the Lightning have reassigned center Jason Jaspers to Springfield of the AHL. Despite being recalled to Tampa twice in the last half a month Jaspers has yet to play a game in a Lightning uniform.
The AHL All-Star Game is on tap for Wednesday, February 1st from Winnipeg, Manitoba. The AHL has put together a full TV schedule for the event. Nationwide, both the skills competition and game itself will be available live at 8pm on 1/31 and 2/1 respectively on NHL Center Ice. In the Tampa Bay area, the AHL skills competition will be available on tape delay on 2/2 at noon and the game will be shown on 2/5 at 3:30pm. The Springfield Falcons loan representative for the event is center Ryan Vesce.