Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune is reporting that the Tampa Bay Lightning has tendered qualifying offers to restricted free agents Ryan Craig, Justin Fletcher, and Jay Rosehill, thus retaining the club's rights on these players.
Qualifying offers were not tendered to former second round pick Mike Egener, goaltender and former third rounder Jonathan Boutin, Zbynek Hrdel, Marek Kvapil, Ryan Munce, and recently acquired defenseman Mario Scalzo Jr., making them unrestricted free agents. Kvapil and Scalzo, along with Stanislav Lascek, had already signed contracts to play with European teams next season.
The website is also reporting that Lightning prospect Stanislav Lascek, who has spent much of this season with Mississippi of the ECHL, has agreed to play next season for Zvolen in Slovakia. Lascek, who was drafted as an overage player in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, finished second in the QMJHL in scoring in his final year of junior hockey but has been underwhelming in two seasons of professional hockey that have been spent largely in the ECHL.
Milley's departure leaves an opening for a veteran forward to be retained or signed for Norfolk of the AHL next season. Milley leaves the Lightning organization after three seasons which have included 182 games split between Springfield and Norfolk of the AHL and 14 games of NHL service with Tampa Bay during the 2005-2006 season. Milley has scored 63 goals and 154 points in his 182 games of AHL service with the franchise. He will be missed.
It is not completely clear what Lascek's status will be given that he still has a year left on his NHL Entry Level deal. Whether or not the Lightning retain Lascek's rights, it does appear his departure may give the Lightning some relief on the 50-man roster front where potentially difficult signing decisions need to be made for currently contracted prospects Mike Egener and Marek Kvapil and minor league contracted players Adam Henrich and Rob Klinkhammer.
ECHL Update for the Mississippi Sea Wolves from 2/28 through 3/8:
- Wolves go 2-2, with two wins at home against Charlotte and 2 losses on the road in Florida.
- Munce gets a shutout, 1st Star and 2nd Star honors, and gets pulled in his 4th consecutive start.
- Stan Lascek goes nuts in back-to-back games against Charlotte: 1st night gets instigator, fightning, and game misconduct; 2nd night lights the lamp twice and adds an assist.
- Zbynek Hrdel buries a goal in first game back in Mississippi after being reassigned from Norfolk.
After a blazing start to the new year in January, the month of February has been disastrous for Ryan Munce and the Mississippi Sea Wolves. Highlights include:
- Wolves go 1-5 on a six game road trip; Munce goes 1-4 and is pulled twice.
- Wolves are currently 1-4 on a seven game home stand; Munce is 1-3 and has been pulled twice
- Marek Kvapil (3-7-10 in 10gp) and Zbynek Hrdel (1-0-1 in 2gp) recalled to Norfolk during the current home stand
- Mike Egener returned to the lineup and scored a goal and a fighting major