According to tampabaylightning.com, the Lightning have traded twice-waived winger Jussi Jokinen to the Carolina Hurricanes for winger Wade Brookbank, defenseman Josef Melichar, and a fourth round pick.
Jokinen, who was acquired in the Brad Richards deal from Dallas last year, had a fine finish to last season while playing on a line with Michel Ouellet and Matthieu Darche. This year he started off better than expected in camp, earning a center spot on a scoring line to start the year. It's been all downhill since that time and he currently stands at 6 goals and 10 assists for 16 points and a minus-8 rating in 46 games.
Brookbank, a known fighter who stands 6'4" and 227 pounds, has one goal and 40 PIM in 27 games played for the 'Canes.
Melichar, a 30 year old 6'2" 225 pound defenseman, has 4 assists in 15 games this year. He was assigned to Albany in December by Carolina, where he has 1 goal and 4 assists in 25 games. His best season in the NHL was 2005-06 when he had 15 points in 72 games. He's regarded as a defensive defenseman and holds a $1 million contract this year.
Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune is reporting that the Lightning have claimed defenseman Cory Murphy off of re-entry waivers from the Florida Panthers. The 30 year old blueliner is in his second season in the NHL after a productive career in Europe spent primarily in Finland's SM-liiga. The smallish offensive defenseman has 2 goals and 18 points in 54 NHL games, and could potentially add some zip to the lackluster Lightning power play.
Enough Negativity... The Lightning want Vinny to play like a 8.5 million $ player. He should be the leader and make a huge difference. I believe he is starting to. The big difference in this team is coaching... it is like having a coach with a player's insight with no forward playing over 20, and none less than 10. Arty makes the biggest difference up front. We need a rugged (feared) blue liner... Smaby maybe? Great Goaltender (except shootouts) Faster team; more heart!
(Greyhounds release) The Soo Greyhounds acquired 18-year old centreman Kyle DeCoste and a 5th round pick in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection from the Brampton Battalion on Friday morning in exchange for 19-year old winger Anthony Peluso.
DeCoste, a 6â€™2â€, 190 lb native of London, Ontario has 8 goals and 6 assists for 15 points along with 31 penalty minutes in 31 games played this season.
The Lewiston MAINEiacs of the QMJHL traded veteran defenseman and Lightning prospect Michael Ward to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Friday. Ward was sent to Nova Scotia with forward Stephen Horyl for a young blueliner, an overage forward and a fifth round draft pick.
Ward, who is likely in his final year of junior, has 4 goals and 13 assists in 35 games so far this year. He moves to a Cape Breton team that is 25-11-1-1 overall and sits 5 points back of first place Moncton in the Atlantic Division.
Ward is a 2007 7th round pick of the Lightning. He drew comparisons to Paul Ranger when drafted, though his offensive game hasn't exploded near as much as Ranger's did in the later years of his junior career. Ward has added more offense to his game this year, though he's known more for his defensive presence.
Lightning prospect Denis Kazionov has transferred from Khabarovsk of the Russian KHL to Boleslav of the Czech Extraliga. Through 9 games with Boleslav, Kazionov has 2 assists and is -1 with 35 penalty minutes. Boleslav sits at 14th among 14 teams on the Extraliga table.
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.