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Lightning Re-Sign Richards To Five Year Deal

The Lightning [url=http://www.tampabaylightning.com/tbl/prdetail.cfm?pressreleaseID=1345]locked up another core player today signing center Brad Richards to a 5 year deal with an average salary of $7.8 million dollars per season.[/url] Richards led the Lightning in scoring last season and in the 2003-2004 Stanley Cup run won both the Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanship and the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. The deal pre-empts any potential offer sheets that might've been advanced by other clubs to the potential restricted free agent on July 1st and helps to set the budget for the Lightning's offseason plans to acquire goaltending and blueline help.

It's Official: Stirling New Falcons Bench Boss

Springfield [url=http://www.falconsahl.com/detpages/pressbox3000.shtml]has indeed announced that Steve Stirling will be the new Head Coach of the Springfield Falcons.[/url] Stirling was let go from the New York Islanders after posting an 18-20-4 record last season. Overall, in the NHL, he boasts a 56-49-11-8 record over parts of two seasons on the Island. Prior to that, he was head coach of the Islanders' affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, where he posted an 83-51-19-7 record as head coach and in 2001-2002 was named THN Minor Pro Coach of the Year, and before that an assistant with the Lowell Lock Monsters of the AHL. Before joining the pro ranks Stirling coached in the NCAA for 15 years with Division II/III Babson College and Division I Providence College.

Stirling to be Named Springfield's Next Head Coach

The [i]Springfield Republican[/i] is reporting Steve Stirling will be named head coach of the Springfield Falcons at a press conference today. Stirling will be the seventh coach in Falcons history, taking over for the recently reassigned Dirk Graham. The [i] Republican[/i] reports Stirling is the first coach in Springfield with NHL coaching experience since Jimmy Roberts in 1991. Stirling coached the New York Islanders in 2003-2004 and also guided the AHL Bridgeport Sound Tigers to the Calder Cup Finals in 2001-2002.

World Championships Day Seventeen

Sweden tastes double gold. Andreas Holmqvist was scoreless and even in limited time as Johan Holmqvist stopped all 11 shots he faced in a 4-0 shutout to win gold at the World Championships. The victory comes on the heels of Sweden's golden run at the Olympics. In the bronze medal game, Finland beat Canada 5-0 on the strength of Fredrik Norrena's 37 save shutout performance. Norrena adds World Championship bronze to his Olympic silver medal from earlier this year. So concludes the Lightning's 2005-2006 season for all its prospects, including overage prospects. In the next month Bolt Prospects will release its Final Rankings for the season and preview the June Entry Draft. Thanks to our readers for a great season.

Sypek: Two Frontrunners for Falcons Job

Fran Sypek, in today's Springfield Republican, [url=http://www.masslive.com/sypek/republican/index.ssf?/base/sports-0/1148197406149430.xml&coll=1]says the Lightning have two front runners for the vacant Springfield Falcons coaching job which will be announced tomorrow.[/url] Former Islanders bench boss Steve Stirling and Owen Sound Attack coach Mike Stothers are said to be the favorites for the job. Stothers may be the favorite. Prior to his three years as head coach of the Owen Sound junior program, he was an assistant coach for the Philadelphia Flyers and Philadelphia Phantoms with Bill Barber, and most importantly, for Jay Feaster's Hershey Bears for two seasons. His recent work tutoring youth at the junior level is a likely positive. His lack of head coaching experience at the pro level may be a negative. Steve Sterling was fired as head coach of the New York Islanders after holding the job for a year and a half. Prior to his stint in the NHL he was head coach of the Islanders' AHL affiliate in Bridgeport.
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