Tukonen, who was selected 11th overall by Los Angeles in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, floundered for three years as a pro in the Kings organization before returning to Finland where he has played for Lukko Rauma this season, amassing 5 goals and 13 points in 22 games this year. The 22 year old winger was once touted as an up-and-coming power forward type in the Olli Jokinen mold, but his lack of intensity saw him score just 14 goals and 36 points in 62 games in his career season in the AHL, his rookie professional year in 2005-2006.
Hutchinson's departure removes a one-way contract from the Lightning's ledger. The defenseman has had respectable numbers in the minors, with 1 goal and 14 points in 20 games, but the emergence of prospect Blair Jones as the right-handed triggerman on Norfolk's power play was likely the final straw that made Hutchinson expendable.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have traded forward Wyatt Smith to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for future considerations, Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced today.
Smith, a 5-foot-11, 205-pound native of Thief River Falls, Minnesota, had played in 18 games with the Admirals this season, recording three goals and eight points. He is a veteran of 211 NHL games with the Phoenix Coyotes, Nashville Predators, New York Islanders, Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche. Smith has amassed 10 goals and 32 points in those games. He has also played in five career Stanley Cup Playoff games.
The St. Pete Times is reporting that Lightning GM Brian Lawton has indicated that Bolt goaltending prospect Karri Ramo will be recalled prior to Sunday afternoon's game against the New Jersey Devils. Ramo will backup starter Olaf Kolzig while netminder Mike Smith nurses a lower body injury that has been nagging him for a few games.
Along with Ramo, Lawton indicated that either Jamie Heward or Andrew Hutchinson would be recalled to fill in for blueliner Lukas Krajicek, who suffered a lower body injury during the Lightning's 4-1 victory over Nashville Friday night. Both Heward and Hutchinson are right-handed defenseman, and Lawton indicated that was the main reason for the recall of one of these two players. Heward was scratched in today's afternoon Admirals game against Lowell, possibly tipping the hat as to who would be recalled.
In order to make room for Ramo and Heward/Hutchinson, both Gary Roberts and Chris Gratton will be placed on the Injured Reserve list. Roberts is suffering from an upper body injury, while Gratton is out with a minor knee tweak. This move may cue a recall of goaltender Riku Helenius from the Augusta Lynx to back up Norfolk's Mike McKenna.
By Corine Gatti
Either they loved him or they hated winger/bruiser Steve Downie in Philadelphia. According to several postings and reactions of both Flyer fans and the American Hockey League Phantomsâ€™ bloggers â€“ most fans adored the 5-foot, 10-inch Newmarket, Ontario native. Some posted that they feared him on the opposing side after he was traded from Philadelphia to the Tampa Bay Lightning on November 7. At only 21-years of age, Downie has already amassed quite a reputation for seeing the penalty box and taking lengthy suspensions. The National Hockey League benched him for 20-games for his hit on Ottawaâ€™s Dean McAmmond during a preseason game with the Flyers last September. Downie's past has not eluded him. The American Hockey League suspended the winger for three games Wednesday after smashing Worchesterâ€™s defenseman Kyle McLaren from behind during the second period. Downie has only played six games with Norfolk.
The Downie package does have an upside. The right wing can play both sides of the rink. He is a strong skater and has the agility to put offensive numbers on the board, despite his frame. After the trade from the Philadelphia organization, Downie joined the Norfolk Admirals on their two-week road trip. He was paired with Zenon Konopka and notched three points during his first week.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have claimed overaged left wing prospect David Koci off of waivers from the St. Louis Blues organization. Koci was lost to the Blues via waivers earlier in the season when the Lightning waived Koci with the intention of reassigning him Norfolk (AHL).
According the Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune, there were numerous claims registered for Koci, which means the Lightning cannot reassign him to Norfolk without placing him back on waivers.