The Tampa Bay Lightning have announced they have traded Bolt Prospects alumni James Wright and veteran AHLer Mike Vernace to the Florida Panthers in exchange for defensemen Mike Kostka and Evan Oberg.
Kostka (pictured), 26, is a 6'1" 210 pound righty shot defenseman. He played his college hockey with the University of Massachusetts before being signed as an undrafted free agent by the Buffalo Sabres in 2008. A year ago, Kostka led the Rochester Americans in scoring with 16 goals and 55 points in 80 games. This year, with the San Antonio Rampage, the defenseman has only managed 2 goals and 6 points in 18 games.
Oberg, 23, is a 6'0" 191 pound lefty shot defenseman. He played two seasons for the University of Minnesota before being signed as an undrafted free agent by the Vancouver Canucks in 2009. He recorded no points in his 4 career NHL appearances with the Canucks, and his AHL best season was 2009-2010 with the Manitoba Moose, when he scored 3 goals and 26 points in 70 games. He has just 2 points in 12 games this year for the Rampage.
Wright, 21, surprisingly made the Lightning out of camp in 2009-2010 and played 48 NHL games before being returned to his junior team. Since then, Wright has never returned to the big leagues and he struggled offensively to start this year with just 1 goal and 5 points in 22 games. The 2008 4th round pick had 16 goals and 47 points with Norfolk of the AHL last year, which was his rookie season as a professional. His departure is perhaps the biggest news of today's transaction.
General Manager and Head Coach Drew Schoneck announced Monday that the Tri-City Storm acquired Tampa Bay Lightning prospect goalie Adam Wilcox from the Green Bay Gamblers for a first round draft pick in the 2012 USHL Entry Draft.
â€œWe felt that, while Pheonix (Copley) has played well for us so far this season, we could add a champion-like goalie in Wilcox to help this team take it to the next level,â€ Schoneck said in a Storm press release. â€œAdam was a major part of the success in Green Bay over the past year, and split time with a quality goalie in (Ryan) McKay, which allowed him to battle for his time.â€
â€œWe expect Adam to be a big addition to the Storm. He adds a little more winning experience to this team, and hope that he and Pheonix will lead this team to more wins overall.â€
TSN's Bob McKenzie is Tweeting forward Mattias Ritola has cleared unconditional waivers and Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet is reporting he will be latching on with MODO of the Elitserien. Ritola, who has spent parts of two seasons with the Lightning since being claimed off waivers from the Detroit Red Wings, refused assignment to Norfolk of the AHL last week.
Happy trails to you you too, Ritz.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have confirmed via Twitter that the organization has acquired pending restricted free agent defenseman Bruno Gervais from the New York Islanders for future considerations.
Gervais, a puck-moving blueliner, has scored 9 goals and added 59 assists in 331 games for the Islander organization. He was a 2003 6th round pick for Isles, and looks to be a possible replacement for unrestricted free agent defensemen Marc-Andre Bergeron.
RDS reported earlier today Lightning prospect Mitch Fadden is on unconditional waivers today. Fadden, who hasn't played since January 7 due to a blot clot in his leg, will have his contract terminated, said Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times. Yzerman told Cristodero the move to put Fadden on waivers was due to "off-ice issues" and neither the Lightning GM nor Fadden's agent would comment further.
A report in the Salmon Arm Observer stated Fadden was arrested in early March for driving intoxicated, among other charges, in Salmon Arm, B.C.
Fadden was home in B.C. while taking blood thinning medication.