Oft-injured and underdeveloped prospect defenseman Andy Rogers was traded by the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Toronto Maple Leafs today in a salary dump deal involving 4 players and a draft pick. Along with Rogers, Tampa sent injured goaltender Olaf Kolzig, injured defenseman Jamie Heward, and a 2009 4th round pick to the Maple Leafs for depth defenseman Richard Petiot.
Rogers, a former 1st round draft pick and former Bolt Prospects top-ranked prospect, has been injured each season of his three year rookie deal and has been unable to develop to his potential as a Top 4 NHL shutdown defenseman. The Lighting packaged three injured players and 4th round pick to Toronto for Petiot, a former 4th round pick of the Los Angeles Kings would was not re-qualified last summer and allowed to sign with Toronto as a unrestricted free agent.
At 6â€™5â€ and more than 200 pounds, Rogers has NHL size and reach. Combining those two factors with his effortless skating ability, and itâ€™s nearly a given that a healthy Andy Rogers can log significant minutes in the â€œnewâ€ NHL. A physical player, Rogers has good character, is coachable, and possesses the work ethic desired by the Lightning. The organization is also pleased with his passing ability out of the defensive zone.
While Rogersâ€™ defensive game earned him an NHL contract, his offensive game could keep him from becoming a top-pair defenseman. Aside from the 2005 Traverse City prospect tournament, Rogers has shown very little offense in his game. He could also use a few off-seasons in the weight room and more of a mean-streak. As most young players do, Rogers tends to lose focus during games resulting in mental errors, but that should be corrected as he matures as a person and a player.
Rogers is quickly getting the â€œinjury-proneâ€ label because of ankle issues, however he had surgery on the ankle in January and is not expected to have any reoccurring issues.
As was mentioned, Rogersâ€™ size and skating ability will take him far, but probably not to the first pair. He projects as a third or fourth defenseman who could play 20-plus minutes a night, but will only see significant power play time if his offensive game develops. If a focused Rogers proves to be a consistent physical presence on the blueline, he could draw shut-down assignments as his career progresses, because he certainly has the size and skating ability for the role.
Back to life, back to reality for Craig Kowalski.
Kowalski allowed 5 goals on 33 shots for the loss.
NOR Segal, (19) (Lundin, Smolenak), 4:13 (PP)
NOR Kearns, (12) (Simek, Jones), 5:58
BNG Smith, (14) (Cavosie, Smith), 19:43 (PP)
BNG Smith, (15) (Cavosie, Bois), 19:59
NOR Zingoni, (2) (Jones), 5:44
BNG Hamel, (17) (Smith, Regin), 7:11
BNG Bois, (11) (Karlsson, Cavosie), 1:24
BNG Bois, (12) , 12:27
BNG Hamel, (18) , 19:38 (EN/SH)
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Karri Ramo allowed 6 goals on 44 shots in the overtime loss.
WOR Traverse, (3) , 0:34
NOR Kearns, (10) (Boyle, Smolenak), 1:55
NOR Jones, (7) (Keller, Kearns), 4:39
NOR Gratton, (3) (Keller), 15:23
NOR Jones, (8) (Kearns, Mihalik), 17:09
NOR Lawrence, (3) (Bochenski, Potulny), 18:19
WOR Armstrong, (16) (Zalewski, Traverse), 0:14
WOR Vesce, (13) (Kaspar, Westgarth), 17:37 (SH)
WOR McGinn, (9) (Demers, Moore), 18:53 (PP)
WOR Demers, (2) (Traverse, Armstrong), 8:36 (PP)
WOR Vesce, (14) (Moore, Fornataro), 3:04
That's a 5-1 lead choked away. A total team failure. And that's two points in two nights that the Admirals left on the table, which right now is the difference between being 9 points out of the last playoff spot and 11 points.
Lots of Admirals returned to the lineup this weekend from injury. Andy Rogers was -3 in his first game back in a month. Brandon Segal returned after about three weeks out and earned a penalty shot in the third that probably could've iced the victory, but could not convert. Juraj Simek played in his second game since a layoff of over a month.
Bracken Kearns and Blair Jones were the game's second and third stars.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
By Corine Gatti
NORFOLK, Va. - Norfolk defenseman Andy Rogers did not anticipate the difficulty or adjustments he would endure at the start of his professional career. Now, it's a fight to prove to himself and to the brass upstairs that he can move on.
Riddled with injuries and the usual lack of maturity found in many players, Rogers was slipping behind on the depth charts. After two seasons of moving off the radar, Rogers entered the final year of his three-year entry-level contract this season and the 22-year-old started to hush critics. Before the 2008-09 campaign, Rogers had a solid outing at camp for Tampa Bay. He climbed out of obscurity and moved up in the depth charts and prospect rankings during the fall. Rogersâ€™ skating developed further this season, along with working developing better gap control. The Calgary, Alberta native earned 16 to 24 minutes of ice time under the leadership of Norfolk coach, Darren Rumble, according to Admirals General Manager Mike Butters.
The Lightning injury problems trickle down to the farm.
NOR Lundin, (1) (Gratton, Henley), 13:25
WOR Armstrong, (11) (Wilson, Kaspar), 18:58 (PP)
WOR Armstrong, (12) (Desjardins, Westgarth), 2:47
WOR Fornataro, (2) (Vesce, Traverse), 14:37
WOR Vesce, (11) (Desjardins, Greiss), 19:26 (SH)
WOR Armstrong, (13) (Desjardins, Lemieux), 16:40 (PP)
The Admirals were in a very tough spot with Vladimir Mihalik and Matt Smaby up in Tampa and Andy Rogers still hurt. Outside of Mike Lundin they had rookie Darryl Boyle, rookie Scott Jackson, virtual rookie Kevin Quick, and two converted ex-defensemen in Brent Henley and Jay Rosehill. Between that and some flukey goals by the Sharks and the Admirals were in a really tough position.
Why not Ty Wishart, you ask? Erik Erlendsson reports with Lukas Krajicek and Paul Ranger still hurt and Jamie Heward having had his clock cleaned in Washington, Wishart will make his NHL debut Saturday night against Carolina. Andrej Meszaros may have to play 30-35 minutes tomorrow night.
1/3 Update: Wishart has been recalled by Tampa Bay.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Top to bottom awful.
Karri Ramo allowed 7 goals on 40 shots for the loss before being pulled for Mike McKenna who allowed 1 goal on 3 shots. Ramo looked like he responded well the last game out but wilted under a barrage of River Rats shots in the third period tonight.
ALB Dwyer, (4) (Blanchard, Rodney), 4:30
ALB Samson, (6) (Petruzalek, Rodney), 13:14
ALB Chaput, (4) (Carson, Dwyer), 13:32 (PP)
ALB Ryan, (4) (Petruzalek, Angelidis), 9:21
NOR Curadeau, (2) (Jones), 12:48 (PP)
ALB Angelidis, (6) (Blanchard, Dwyer), 4:13
ALB Helminen, (5) (Samson, Jensen), 5:06
ALB Angelidis, (7) (Dwyer), 11:17
ALB Dodge, (3) (Bordeleau, Flood), 11:56
They need to find a veteran defenseman and get him into Norfolk promptly. Ramo's partially to blame for the Admirals poor goals against this season, but it's also a product of rookies playing the inexperienced young pros on defense (AKA the dumb leading the blind). Tonight's Ty Wishart/Andy Rogers pairing was a combined -7, and bear in mind they were on the ice for Matieu Curadeau's goal, so they were actually worse than that number defensively.
Darren Rumble has a real challenge now trying to keep his club focused as the season is starting to come unravelled between trades, callups, bad defense, and bad goaltending. It's tough to keep the fighting spirit under bad conditions.
Box score from TheAHL.com.
Eric Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune is reporting that the Tampa Bay Lightning have made six training camp cuts following Saturday night's first preseason game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. All six are being sent the Norfolk Admirals training camp and will join the current roster which starts on Monday. The six players include Lightning prospects Blair Jones, Brandon Segal, Chris Lawrence, and Andy Rogers. The remaining two cuts include free agent invitees Jamie Heward and Sean O'Connor.
Heward had previously said that he if he could not make an NHL roster, he would return to Europe instead of playing North American minor league hockey. It is unknown if Heward will report to the Admirals training camp.
Norfolk defeats Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh 0:51, Jordan Staal 1 (Evgeni Malkin, Ben Lovejoy)
Tampa Bay 3:50, Janne Niskala 1 (Brandon Bochenski, Jussi Jokinen)
Tampa Bay 7:06, Wyatt Smith 1 (Matt Smaby)
Tampa Bay 8:40, Brandon Bochenski 1 (Radek Smolenak, Jussi Jokinen)
Pittsburgh 15:18, Petr Sykora 1 (power play) (Miroslav Satan, Jordan Staal)
Pittsburgh 10:11, Petr Sykora 2 (power play) (Janne Pesonen, Alex Goligoski)
Pittsburgh 17:06, Sidney Crosby 1 (shorthanded) (unassisted)
Tampa Bay 18:41, Brandon Bochenski 2 (Janne Niskala)
Tampa Bay- Jokinen, Stamkos
Karri Ramo stopped 26 of 30 shots in regulation and overtime before stopping both shooters he faced in the penalty shot session.
This is as significant a win as you can get in the first matchup of preseason in September. The Lightning iced a team that basically represented the bulk of their players ticketed for Norfolk of the AHL while the Pens essentially iced their NHL regulars. This is a Pens team that made it to the Stanley Cup Finals last season and the Lightning prospects and AHL pros gave them all they could handle and more en route to victory. It speaks volumes for the future of this franchise.
Lots of prospects in this game:
TBL.com sat down with the Lightning's Brian Lawton following this week's Prospect Camp to get a feel for which prospects not named Stamkos raised some eyebrows. Getting special props from Lawton were Andy Rogers and Chris Lawrence.
â€œChris Lawrence really surprised us, as did Andy Rogers. They are the perfect example of guys who just needed a fresh start and both responded very well. You can expect to see them in our main camp in Tampa and in exhibition games this year. We expect both of them to take a dramatic upswing in their careers.â€
Lawton also praised new defensive prospect Ty Wishart acquired in the trade with San Jose for Dan Boyle. â€œTyâ€™s been a terrific surprise â€“ heâ€™s got such good size and mobility with strong stick and puck skills. Heâ€™s a lot further along than we thought when we made the trade for him.â€