Erik Erlendsson of the [i]Tampa Tribune[/i] reports the Lightning nearly signed Russian goaltender Vasily Koshechkin recently.
The 6-6 behemoth spent the 2005-2006 season at the top of the goaltending leaders board in Russia for GAA, save percentage, and shutouts. Instead of signing with the Lightning this summer, the 23 year-old signed with Khimik. Had he signed, Koshechkin would have been the eighth goaltender under contract for Tampa, joining Sean Burke, Johan Holmqvist
, Fredrik Norrena
, Karri Ramo
, Gerald Coleman
, Jonathan Boutin
, and Morgan Cey.
Erlendsson also speculates that either Coleman or Boutin could be part of a trade package for either an established NHL No.1 goaltender or a defenseman. Also, he reports the recently signed Holmqvist, who signed a one year deal at $600k last week, was offered a two year deal by the Lightning. Confident in his abilities to adapt to the new NHL, Holmqvist chose the one year deal in order to possibly earn a larger paycheck for 2007-2008.