The following is a log of all player movement in and out of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization in preparation for the 2007-2008 season. (A link to in-season deals can be found at the bottom)
March 25 -- UFA D Justin Fletcher (St. Cloud St., NCAA) signed to a 1-year, two-way contract.
April 6 -- D Vladimir Mihalik (Prince George, WHL) signed to a 3-year entry level contract.
May 31 -- RW/C Chris Lawrence (Mississauga, OHL) signed to a 3-year entry level contract.
May 31 -- Mike Sullivan named assistant coach.
May 31 -- G Riku Helenius (Ilves Jr., Finland) signed to a 3-year entry level contract.
June 13 -- C Chris Gratton acquired from the Florida Panthers for a 2nd round pick in the 2008 draft.
June 14 -- UFA LW Jan Hlavac signed to a 1-year contract.
July 1 -- UFA RW Michel Ouellet signed to a 2-year contract.
July 2 -- UFA C/LW Craig MacDonald signed to a 1-year contract.
July 2 -- UFA LW Mathieu Darche signed to a 1-year contract.
July 3 -- UFA D Jay Leach signed to a 1-year contract.
July 3 -- UFA D David Schneider signed to a 1-year contract.
July 4 -- D Bryce Lampman acquired from the New York Rangers for Mitch Fritz.
July 6 -- UFA D Dan Jancevski signed to a 1-year, 2-way contract.
July 12 -- D Mike Lundin signed to a 2-year contract.
August 7 -- Absolute Hockey Enterprises, a group led by Doug MacLean, agrees to buy the Tampa Bay Lightning.
April 10 -- D Joe Rullier signed with Lukko Rauma (Finland).
May 24 -- Craig Ramsay, assistant coach, fired.
June 20 -- UFA W Eero Somervuori signed with Farjestad of SEL.
July 1 -- UFA D Cory Sarich signed with the Calgary Flames.
July 1 -- UFA C Eric Perrin signed with the Atlanta Thrashers.
July 4 -- W Mitch Fritz traded to the New York Rangers for Bryce Lampman.
July 4 -- UFA LW Ruslan Fedotenko signed with the New York Islanders.
July 13 -- UFA LW Eric Healey signed with the Colorado Avalanche.
August 7 -- UFA D Luke Richardson signed with the Ottawa Senators.
August 15 -- W Rob DiMaio takes head office job with the Dallas Stars.
September 7 -- UFA C Daniel Corso signed with the Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod of the Vysshaya League West (Russia).
May 9 -- Pending UFA C/W Jason Ward re-signed to a 2-year contract.
May 16 -- Pending UFA C/W Andreas Karlsson re-signed to a 1-year contract.
May 19 -- Pending UFA G Johan Holmqvist re-signed to a 1-year contract.
June 11 -- Pending RFA W Nick Tarnasky re-signed to a 3-year contract.
June 11 -- Pending UFA W Kyle Wanvig re-signed to a 1-year, 2-way contract.
June 21 -- Pending RFA D Shane O'Brien re-signed to a 2-year contract.
June 26 -- Pending UFA W Norm Milley re-signed to a 1-year contract.
July 4 -- RFA D Bryce Lampman signed his qualifying offer - a 1-year, 2-way contract.
July 6 -- RFA D Mike Egener re-signed to a 1-year, 2-way contract.
July 13 -- RFA D Paul Ranger re-signed to a 3-year contract.
July 24 -- RFA W Karl Stewart re-signed to a 1-year, 2-way contract.
July 25 -- UFA D Doug Janik re-signed to a 1-year, 2-way contract.
August 6 -- RFA W/C Ryan Craig awarded a 1-year contract by an arbitrator. Tampa Bay accepted the ruling.
RFA -- W Evgeni Artyukhin (signed tentative deal with Avangard Omsk of RSL on 5/2)
UFA -- C John Toffey
UFA -- W Adam Henrich (Invited to Flyers camp)
UFA, VI -- W Stephen Baby
UFA -- D Nolan Pratt (Later signed with Buffalo)
UFA -- D Brady Greco
UFA -- G Morgan Cey (Invited to Admirals camp)
Key: UFAâ€”Unrestricted Free Agent, RFAâ€”Restricted Free Agent (must be given qualifying offer to be retained)
This book contains a history of the Tampa Bay Lightning's player transactions in and out of the organization on a year-by-year basis. Recent history will be addressed first, with historical transactional archives being added as time and resources allow.
The Draft History page has been updated to reflect 2006-2007's regular season statistics.
Fun fact: while current Florida Panther Chris Gratton holds the career Lightning draft pick mark for NHL games played (1,008), he was surpassed this season by Vincent Lecavalier in career NHL goals (233). Roman Hamrlik still holds the mark for assists (374). Gratton is second (340), then Brad Richards (306), then Daymond Langkow (296). Gratton also holds the mark for career points (544) although his lead is a scant 34 points ahead of Lecavalier (510), who passed Hamrlik (505) this season. Lecavalier and Richards have played just 629 and 490 NHL games, for comparison purposes.
Not so fun fact: in just one season Columbus' Fredrik Norrena swept the Lightning draft pick career marks for games played (55) and wins (24) away from Zac Bierk (47 games played, 9 wins). Norrena became the first Lightning draft pick ever to reach double digits in wins. How sad is that?
More inside the numbers...
The AHL released Clear Day rosters for every team in the league today. The Clear Day roster sets the 22 players who are elligible to play for a team the rest of the season and into the playoffs. Exceptions can only be made on an emergency basis in the case of injuries or recalls. These rosters don't prohibit amateur tryout signings or the addition of junior or college prospects once they complete their respective seasons.
Absent from the list is defenseman PJ Atherton.
With the departure of Gerald Coleman to Anaheim's organization in the Shane O'Brien trade, we have removed Coleman from the prospects page. As a consequence, all prospects behind Coleman have moved up one spot each and we have selected winger Zbynek Hrdel to occupy the #25 spot in our rankings. Coleman is the second top-25 prospect to be traded since Bolt Prospects released it's Midterm Rankings in January, Andre Deveaux being the first.
There's been a pretty healthy conversation underway in the comments regarding the fate of Adam Henrich within the Lightning organization. One of the things I think that has been missing from the debate is a look at the bigger picture under the 50-man roster limit that the new CBA imposes on the NHL parent club. Prospects like Henrich who are in the final year of their NHL entry level contracts face the chance of being squeezed out by the new limits where they wouldn't have been under the old CBA. So, in order to understand the way the numbers game might play out, I think it's instructive to look at what prospects could be on the way in for next season:
Bolt Prospects would like to announce the release of its 2006-2007 Midterm Rankings for prospects in the Lightning organization. There have been multiple changes since the Preliminary Rankings we released in October, most notably a new top prospect in the organization, AHL All-Star Karri Ramo, and the graduation of top ten prospect Nick Tarnasky who played his 41st NHL game of the season just this past weekend. Multiple prospects also managed to crack the rankings for the first time by virtue of their play so far this season.
Just a quick reminder on how we differentiate between "alumni", "prospect" and "overage prospect". Any player who plays 41 games or more at the NHL level in any single season or 82 or more total career NHL games will be considered graduated and will be moved to the "Bolt Prospects Alumni" section of the prospects page. With Tarnasky's full-time promotion to the NHL and prior graduations by Doug Janik and Eric Perrin, the alumni list has now grown to six players over the span of the past year and a half since we first put up the prospects page and profile content. Any player under the age of 24 on opening night of the 2006-2007 season who hasn't met the criteria for graduation is considered a "prospect" and is elligible for our rankings. Any player 24 or older who has not yet met the criteria for graduation is considered an "overage prospect" and is not elligible to make the list. In addition, with Johan Holmqvist on track for graduation this season, we've adopted new, but similar, rules for goaltenders whereby graduation will occur upon the 30th decision of any single NHL season or the 41st career NHL decision. For anyone wondering, Holmqvist has already earned 23 decisions this season (with a 14-9-0 record).
With all the legal disclaimers out of the way, here are the 2006-2007 Bolt Prospects Midterm Rankings which can also be found on our prospects page.