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Submitted by pete on June 15, 2006 - 21:05
In the first two parts of the forwards section of the 2006 Entry Draft preview we covered six potentially available centers of interest for the Lightning: Bryan Little, James Sheppard, Cory Emmerton, Ondrej Fiala, Ben Maxwell and Patrik Berglund. Bolt Prospects ranks center, and particularly playmaking center, one of the Lightning's primary organizational needs along with offensive defenseman. Goal scoring wingers are still a secondary need though, even after a very successful 2005 Entry Draft and today we'll begin to offer the profiles of a few wingers who might also be of interest when the Lightning pick at 15th overall in the first round on June 24th in Vancouver.
Submitted by pete on June 15, 2006 - 13:14
Make of it what you like, but defenseman PJ Atherton [url=http://www.falconsahl.com/detpages/pressbox3014.shtml]is appearing in a charity softball game for the Falcons today in Springfield.[/url] This could be an indication that he will be around next season with the Falcons. The Lightning hold Atherton's rights for one full year after his graduation date meaning that technically they could wait until the very end of the 2006-2007 season before making a contract decision on the defenseman. It should be noted goaltender JM Pelletier appeared in several Falcons charity events last summer but still bolted for Rochester of the AHL, so you cannot read too much into this development.
Submitted by chad on June 15, 2006 - 08:02
Tom Jones of the [i]St. Pete Times[/i] is reporting the Lightning are in contract negotiations with former Springfield Falcons captain Shane Willis. Willis spent last season in Switzerland with HC Davos where he had 5 goals and 15 assists in 32 games before moving to Sweden. There, Willis played with recently signed (Tampa) goaltender Fredrik Norrena and Linkopings HC, getting one assist in six regular season games, then exploding for 6 goals and 11 points in 13 playoff games. He captained Springfield in 2004-2005 and scored 18 goals and 34 points in 58 games. Willis is known for his fine rookie season in Carolina where he registered 20 goals and 44 points to earn him an all-rookie team selection. His career was knocked off course when he suffered a concussion in a playoff game after a hit from the Devil's Scott Stevens. Willis was traded to the Lightning on March 5, 2002, in Tampa GM Jay Feaster's first trade, coming to the Bolts with Chris Dingman for goaltender Kevin Weekes. In 33 games with Tampa, Willis has 4 goals and 9 assists, though is regarded as just needing an extended opportunity to make his mark. With rumors of Tampa dealing a scoring line player for a goaltender, that opportunity could be in front of him.
Submitted by pete on June 14, 2006 - 19:49
Bolt Prospects continues its draft preview with the profiles of three more centers who may be available at the Lightning's 15th pick in the NHL Entry Draft on June 24th in Vancouver:
Submitted by chad on June 14, 2006 - 15:48
According to a Springfield Falcons press release, the Lightning have signed center Eric Perrin to a one-year deal. Perrin, a 5-foot-9, 176-pound native of Laval, Quebec last played in the Lightning uniform in Game 4 of the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals. He played in 12 total playoff games in 2004 and recorded an assist, his first in the NHL, during Game 1 of the ECF. Perrin also recorded nine shots on goal en route to winning the Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in his first NHL season. He appeared in four regular season games and logged a season-high 11:49 of ice time in the season finale on April 3. â€œAs we have stated many times, losing Eric Perrin to Europe last season as a result of the re-entry waiver rules in the new CBA was a major blow to our organizational depth,â€ Feaster said. â€œEric performed very well for us during his late-season recall and into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2004. We are very pleased that he has chosen to re-sign with us now and we look forward to seeing him competing for a spot on our roster in camp.â€