TSN Canada is reporting veteran center Craig Darby has been traded to the Vancouver Canucks for future considerations. The 31 year old's departure should allow greater playing time for newly signed Ryan Vesce. The deal also opens a veteran spot in Springfield which might be filled by Harlan Pratt, who has been invited the Lightning camp on a tryout basis.
The Springfield Falcons in conjunction with the Tampa Bay Lightning have announced the signing of center Ryan Vesce.
The diminuitive Vesce, at just 5'8" 170 lbs., spent last season with Rogle BK of the Swedish Alsvenskan where he led his club with 20 goals and 45 points in 43 games. Prior to that, the 23 year old played four years in the ECAC for Cornell where he compiled 128 points in 131 games. His career year came as a junior when he led Cornell in scoring with 19 goals and 45 points in 36 games. With outstanding speed and skill, the native of Lloyd Harbor, NY draws obvious comparisons to former ECAC alum's Martin St. Louis and Eric Perrin. An added bonus may be Vesce's faceoff ability. Vesce won 55% of his draws last season in the initial phase of the Alsvenskan schedule in the Sodra division, 65% in the Superalsvenskan and 57% in the promotion tournament, the Playoff till Kvalserien.
The Tampa Bay Lightning in conjunction with the Springfield Falcons have signed 34 year old veteran defenseman Brad Tiley.
Veteran C Craig Darby confirmed he will be returning to the Springfield Falcons this season in a story published by the Syracuse Post-Standard. The 32 year old veteran laments the new CBA's impact on veteran AHLers who now are waiver elligible if they make more than $75,000 in the minors. The provision has already forced veteran AHLers Eric Perrin and Shane Willis to Europe.
Today the Tampa Bay Lightning completed a trifecta of sorts signing RW Martin St. Louis to a six year deal. Over the past two seasons, the core of the Tampa Bay Lightning has been, in my opinion, Dan Boyle, Nikolai Khabibulin, Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis. The unfortunate reality of the new CBA was that GM Jay Feaster was forced to try and re-sign 4 of his 5 core players under restrictive circumstances. Given the difficulties Feaster managed to sign Boyle, Lecavalier and St. Louis, and 3 out of 4 ain't bad. This is especially true considering the Lightning locked up one of it's two most important components (the other being Brad Richards) Vincent Lecavalier to a 4 year deal.
Lecavalier's reported $27.5 million dollar contract seemed to spark a lot of controversy within the Lightning fan base, however. Lightning fans asked how the team could be held together with Vinny making so much money. They wondered if the deal would force out St. Louis or possibly Pavel Kubina or Brad Richards next season. And, above all, they cursed teams like Boston and Calgary for raising the contracts of young superstars like Joe Thornton and Jarome Iginla to the stratospheric heights of over $6 million dollars a season. Indeed, it's sometimes hard for me to believe a penny conscious team like Bill Davidson's Tampa Bay Lightning just committed roughly $50 million dollars to two players in the span of just a week. Is this the shape of the new NHL?