According to numerous published reports it appears the Lightning will be cutting 7 players from their roster after Saturday's preseason game against the Caps. Here's my initial thoughts on the seven who will go (subject to change based on performance in the Washington game, of course):
A little excitement to send the people home happy in preseason!
Marc Denis stopped 35 of 38 faced for the win. Brad Richards led the way with assists in triplicate. Goals came from Andreas Karlsson, Jason Ward, Kyle Wanvig, and Mathieu Darche. Filip Kuba, Shane O'Brien, and Mike Lundin added individual helpers.
Darche looks like the big winner on the night getting 21:46 of ice time, the game winning goal, registering 7 shots, and having a +1 rating. And 5 hits too? This after a scrimmage hat trick yesterday? Mr. Darche, you sir are making an impact.
Bryce Lampman and Mike Lundin also checking in with well over 20 minutes of look-see a piece. Both were even.
Kyle Wanvig checked in with 16:07 of ice time and a +1 rating with 4 hits and a penalty shot goal, possibly keeping his bubble from bursting and running Karl Stewart to the state of Virginia.
Name: Bryce Lampman
Weight: 199 lbs
Acquired: Acquired from the New York Rangers 7/4/2007 for LW Mitch Fritz
Lampman, 24, was a 2001 4th round selection by the Rangers and has played the past five seasons with the Hartford Wolf Pack accumulating 19-57-76, +49, and 234 PIMs in 258 games played. During those 5 seasons, he appeared in 10 NHL games for the Rangers. â€œIn Bryce Lampman we are obtaining a mobile, very good skating, puck-moving defenseman with good vision who sees the ice well, makes a very good first pass and who possesses excellent hockey sense,â€ Lightning General Manager Jay Feaster said in a team press release. â€œHe is also a player who can be used in all special teams situations. For the past three or four seasons now our pro scouts have felt that he was on the verge of playing regularly in the NHL. He will come to training camp in September and have a chance to battle it out with probably five or six other players for the sixth and seventh spots on our blueline. Based on everything we have seen from him in the past, he is knocking on the door of being an NHL regular. We are thrilled to have him in our organization and we wish Mitch Fritz nothing but success.â€
Lampman, an assistant captain with the Wolf Pack, signed a contract with TPS in Finland on June 6 and the restricted free agent, who was qualified by the Rangers, has an out clause with TPS should he sign with an NHL club by July 10.
Fritz, 26, was signed by the Lightning as a free agent in 2005 and the 6'8", 258lb winger is one of the most feared and respected enforcers in the AHL, accumulating over 356 PIMs in two seasons with the organization. According to the St. Pete Times, Fritz had contacted Feaster when the Lightning qualified the restricted free agent to express his concern over lack of playing time at the AHL level and the inability to get a better chance to make the NHL club.