The St. Pete Times is reporting that forward Nick Tarnasky has been traded to the Nashville Predators for a 2009 conditional pick. The 6th round pick acquired from Nashville will turn into a 5th round pick if Tarnasky plays 50 games for the Predators next season.
Tarnasky, a 9th round pick (#287 overall) of the 2003 entry draft defied the odds and earned a regular NHL roster spot during the 2006-07 season as an energy line forward for then head coach John Tortorella and GM Jay Feaster. Feaster rewarded Tarnasky with a 3 year contract on June 11, 2007. Tarnasky amassed 11 goals, 9 assists, and 162 penalty minutes in 160 games for the Bolts.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have announced that they have acquired restricted free agent defenseman Andrej Meszaros from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for defensemen Filip Kuba and Alexandre Picard along with the 2009 1st round pick the Bolts acquired from the San Jose Sharks in the Dan Boyle trade.
Rumors had been swirling for the past two days about Meszaros' future with Senators since Ottawa GM Brian Murray declared an impasse in negotiations to get the restricted free agent resigned. His three-year entry level rookie contract expired this summer, but was unable to agree upon a contract extension with Ottawa. TSN is reporting that it expects Meszaros will sign a 6 year, $24M contract with the Lightning.
Victoria Grizzlies General Manager Jackson Penney has informed Bolt Prospects that Lightning 2007 seventh round pick Justin Courtnall will return to the BCHL Grizzlies for another year.
Courtnall had been looking into attending an NCAA school in the fall, but those plans are on hold until the 2009-2010 season.
After starting slow last year with Victoria, Courtnall came on to finish with 19 goals and 32 assists for 51 points in 60 games - good enough for second on the club by just a point.
The winger played the previous season with Burnaby of the BCHL.
Courtnall's father, former NHLer Geoff Courtnall, is the head coach of Victoria. Lightning co-owner Len Barrie serves as the Grizzlies' president. (Times-Colonist photo)
Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune is confirming that the Tampa Bay Lightning and the San Jose Sharks are officially completing the much discussed trade of star defensemen Dan Boyle. The deal sends Boyle along with Tampa defenseman Brad Lukowich to San Jose in exchange for defenseman Matt Carle, top defensive prospect and former first rounder Ty Wishart, a 2009 1st round pick, and a 2010 4th round pick.
Michael Russo of the Minnesota Star-Tribune is reporting on his blog that the Lightning have struck a deal to acquire the rights to potential UFA winger Brian Rolston. Rolston, 35, has scored 96 goals over the course of the past three seasons with the Minnesota Wild.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
ST. PAUL, Minn. â€” The Minnesota Wild have traded forward Brian Rolston to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a conditional draft pick. The Wild will get a selection in either the 2009 or 2010 draft. The pick will depend on whether Tampa Bay re-signs Rolston before they know what pick Minnesota will get in the deal. Rolston is due to become a free agent July 1, but by making the move the Lightning get a day of exclusive negotiations with the forward. He scored 31 goals and had 59 points last season. The move caps a busy weekend for the Lightning, who acquired the rights to Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts from Pittsburgh on Saturday. â€œAs we said earlier this week and we are trying to prove after making our deal with Pittsburgh (Saturday), we will work feverishly to improve the Lightning team for the 2008-09 season,â€ owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie said in a joint statement. â€œWe believe getting the Lightning a head start in the negotiating and signing process can help us secure the players we are targeting. Nothing is guaranteed here, but we hope to have a chance to get another quality player in a Lightning uniform sooner rather than later.â€
TSN is reporting that the Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired exclusive negotiating rights to forwards Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts by sending a 2009 4th round pick to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Both Malone and Roberts are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents on July 1. If the Lightning sign Malone, the 4th round pick would be upgraded to a 3rd round pick.
Prior to the NHL draft, Malone had said that it would be foolish for a team to trade for his rights as he intended to explore his market value when the free agency period opens on July 1. Roberts had quelled retirement rumors by stating that he intend to continue to play, but that he would not be returning to the Penguins organization.
After a couple of months of rumors indicating he might go back to Europe, Eurohockey.net is reporting that Lightning prospect Marek Kvapil has signed with Vitkovice of the Czech Extraliga for next season. Kvapil, 23, struggled the past two seasons to reach the promise he showed as a rookie in 2005-2006 when he scored 18 goals and 45 points in 79 games with the Springfield Falcons. Plagued by inconsistent effort and turnovers in the neutral zone, Kvapil languished in the ECHL for half of last season with the Mississippi Sea Wolves. Kvapil's decision is the first of a string of prospect roster moves to come in the next couple of months. Bolt Prospects' Chad Schnarr will have more on Johan Harju, Mitch Fadden, and Dane Crowley in the coming week.
Eurohockey.net is reporting that defenseman Mario Scalzo has signed with Austrian club Salzburg for next season. If Scalzo indeed chooses to leave North America for Europe, it makes an already depleted Norfolk blueline for next season even thinner. Of course, it also probably helps prospect Dane Crowley's quest to get an NHL contract.