TSN's Bob McKenzie reports the Tampa Bay Lightning have waived one-time highly ranked prospect Richard Panik. If Panik clears waivers by noon on Thursday he'll be assigned to the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL.
The move signals the apparent end of The Panik Project, which began when the enigmatic Slovakian turned pro before the 2011-2012 season. Speaking with Bolt Prospects before that season, then-Norfolk coach Jon Cooper said his job was to find what motivated Panik personally, surround him with proper veteran leadership, then monitor his development closely. After a slow start, Cooper got the best out of Panik, and the 6-2 winger responded with 19 goals and 41 points in 64 games. He disappeared in the playoffs while the Admirals won the Calder Cup, accumulating just six points (five goals) in 18 games. A year later, Panik and his game had resurfaced and he had 22 goals and 41 points with the Syracuse Crunch in 51 games, earning an All-Star spot and a promotion to Tampa Bay to reunite with Cooper, who had been named Lightning coach late in the year. Panik had nine points in 25 games, then starred in the AHL playoffs for the Crunch, dominating games for the Calder Cup finalists.
Assat 3 vs. HPK 5
Saku Salminen, HPK, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals: 4 GP, 0-0-0, -1, 2 PIM
Saku Salminen was scoreless in 12:32 of ice time in HPK's 5-3 win over Assat. Ex-Senators farmhand Craig Schira had 1 goal and 1 assist from the blueline for HPK in the win. Ex-Stars second rounder Michael Ryan had a pair of helpers in defeat for Assat.
Khanty-Mansiysk 1 vs. Ufa 2
Nikita Gusev, Khanty-Mansiysk, 1-0-1, E, 0 PIM, 8 SOG
Season totals: 9 GP, 3-1-4, -4, 2 PIM
Nikita Gusev had a power play goal in 23:38 of ice time in Yugra's 2-1 loss to Ufa. Gusev was second among Yugra forwards in ice time and led the team in shots on goal. Ex-Stars first rounder Ivan Vishnevsky scored the game winner for Ufa.
St. Petersburg 7 vs. Bratislava 2
Jaroslav Janus, Bratislava, Loss, 11/15, 8.39 GAA, .733 sv%
Season totals: 6 GP, 2-2-2, 0 SO, 2.48 GAA, .914 sv%
Jaroslav Janus was lifted halfway through a 7-2 pummeling at the hands of SKA St. Petersburg. SKA put 7 on the board despite the fact captain Ilya Kovalchuk did not register a point in the match.
The Tampa Bay Lightning announced the team reduced their training camp roster by three today, per vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman. Following today’s cuts the Lightning have 24 players on their roster. They must get down to 23 by Tuesday afternoon.
The players assigned to Syracuse were forwards Jonathan Marchessault and Cedric Paquette, as well as defenseman Luke Witkowski. Marchessault played in three preseason games and recorded two goals with 4 points, tied for third on the team. Paquette appeared in four exhibition games, recording a goal and two points. Witkowski skated in four preseason contests with a plus-4 rating and an assist.
BP Commentary: The key part of this announcement is who’s left. Waiver exempt players Vlad Namestnikov, Nikita Kucherov, Jonathan Drouin, and Andrej Sustr have made the team, at least temporarily. There wasn’t much question with Kucherov or Drouin, but Vladdy played himself onto the roster – at least until Drouin is healthy enough to play. Drouin remains out with a thumb injury and can be put on injured reserve. A report from TSN this weekend said the Lightning were toying with the idea of putting him in AHL Syracuse for a couple weeks of rehab play, which is allowed though Drouin is too young to play full-time in the AHL.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Chicoutimi Sagueneens 4 @ Quebec Remparts 5 (OT)
W/C Adam Erne, QUE: 0-0-0, +2, 4 PIM, 2 Hits, 4 SOG, 3/10 FO
Season totals: 3 GP, 1-5-6, +4, 6 PIM
2013-2014 Season: 48 GP, 21-41-62, -3, 65 PIM
Erne was scoreless after starting the season with two straight 3-point games. His Remparts are 3-0 with him in the lineup.
Ontario Hockey League
Sarnia Sting 2 @ Mississauga Steelheads 1
D Anthony DeAngelo, SAR: Did not play
Season totals: 2 GP, 0-1-1, -3, 13 PIM
2013-14 totals: 51 GP, 15-56-71, -34, 90 PIM
Sarnia won their first game of the year despite being without star defenseman Anthony DeAngelo. The Lightning’s first round pick in the 2014 draft was suspended because he took a game misconduct at the conclusion of Sarnia’s last game for having words with a referee. Considering DeAngelo went into the draft with numerous red flags for character issues, this latest act can’t be sitting well with the Lightning.