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Draft Order Settled

The NHL has announced that [url=http://www.bostonbruins.com/pressbox/pressreleases.asp?id=1473]the Tampa Bay Lightning will receive an additional 5th round pick as compensation for losing unrestricted free agent Jassen Cullimore to the Chicago Blackhawks[/url]. With that settled, the Lightning hold six picks going into tomorrow's draft which will commence at 12 pm Eastern:

Lightning Acquire Jaspers

The Lightning have announced [url=http://bolts.tbo.com/lightning/MGBVPG9TPBE.html]the team has traded veteran center Jarrod Skalde to the Phoenix Coyotes for center Jason Jaspers.[/url] Skalde was one of the free agent flops for the Falcons last season and played just 15 games in a Falcons jersey before being loaned to Phoenix's farm team the Utah Grizzlies in echange for Jason Jaspers being loaned to the Falcons. Yesterday's trade now formalizes each players' place in their respective organizations.

Boutin/Hrdel Sign

As expected, [url=http://www.tampabaylightning.com/prdetail.cfm?pressreleaseID=1099&category=3]the Lightning have announced the signing of G Jonathan Boutin and LW/C Zbynek Hrdel to three year standard entry level deals.[/url] Boutin will now battle with [url=http://www.boltprospects.com/node/145]yesterday's signee Gerald Coleman[/url] to see which prospect be next in line behind Brian Eklund. Hrdel adds some desperately needed potential scoring punch to a Lightning organization which is extremely threadbare for skill at the forward position at the minor and junior level.

Coleman Signs

[url=http://msn.foxsports.com/nhl/story/3833156] The Associated Press and FoxSports.com are reporting the Lightning have signed prospect goaltender Gerald Coleman [/url] to a standard three year entry-level contract. The Lightning have yet to issue a press release on Coleman's signing. Given the Lightning generally like to announce the signings of multiple prospects jointly and the deadline for signings is 5pm tomorrow, expect a press release some time tomorrow announcing Coleman's signing along with Boutin and/or Hrdel.

Feaster Hopes to Sign Three by Thursday

A quick blurb from the Sunday paper: [url=http://bolts.tbo.com/lightning/MGBBW98RIBE.html]Jay Feaster intends to sign three of the team's 2003 draft picks by Thursday[/url]: G Jonathan Boutin, G Gerald Coleman and LW/C Zbynek Hrdel. All would be elligible to re-enter the draft if not signed by that time, although the new CBA will be less favorable economically for prospects if they choose to go that route. Speaking about the goaltending prospect situation earlier this season, Feaster had hinted only one of the prospects might sign. But Boutin and Coleman both showed the ability to dominate their respective junior leagues at times last season and with the Lightning becoming part owners of the Johnstown Chiefs of the ECHL there should be plenty of room for new arrivals.

Traverse City Tourney Game On

Special thanks to TBL.com moderator and Lightning web community diva MissK for this: [url=http://www.allsports.com/nhl/redwings/stories/2005_07/17_Camp.html]The annual Traverse City prospect tournament is tentatively scheduled for September 4th through 19th.[/url]

NHL Draft Lottery Pushed Back One Day

[url=http://www.nhl.com/news/2005/07/230562.html]NHL.com is reporting[/url] the NHL draft lottery and CBA ratification have been pushed back a day from the previously rumored date of Thursday the 21st to Friday the 22nd. Canadian sports network TSN [url=http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/feature.asp?fid=7314]will announce the results of the lottery with a special presentation at 4pm Friday.[/url]

Offseason Transfers

Big news came down today from [url=http://www.tampabaylightning.ru/main.php?lang=e] tampabaylightning.ru[/url] webmaster Alexander Chelukanov regarding reports out of Russia that Alexander Polushin has been released by CSKA and picked up by Severstal Cherepovets. With that in mind, here are some other transfers which have taken place with the Lightning's prospect system so far this summer:

Holmqvist Leaving Springfield

[url=http://www.expressen.se/index.jsp?a=269379]Reports out of Sweden [/url] indicate that defenseman Andreas Holmqvist will be returning to Linkopings for next season after spending parts of the last two seasons in the Lightning organization with Hamilton, Pensacola and Springfield. According to the story, the former 2001 2nd round pick will be joining his older brother Michael, a Ducks prospect, with the Linkopings club. The news comes at a time where speculation is increasing about the Lightning signing North Dakota defenseman and 2003 2nd round pick Matt Smaby for placement with the Falcons next season.

Pelicans A Strike Back!

After a sour start to the Junior A playoffs that saw [url=http://www.sm-liiga.fi/finhockey2/sjl_tulospalvelu_popup.asp?ottelu_id=33339&TID=1451&ilman=true]Karri Ramo drop the first game of the series 7-2[/url], Ramo and Pelicans A struck back today to tie the series at 1-1. Buoyed by a [url=http://www.sm-liiga.fi/finhockey2/sjl_tulospalvelu_popup.asp?ottelu_id=33343&TID=1451&ilman=true]first star performance that saw Ramo stop 31 of 32 shots, Pelicans A beat TPS A 2-1 today to even the best of five.[/url] Game Three is slated for tomorrow, March 7th. Ramo's resiliance in staking his team to a very important 2-1 win was undeniable today. Many young goaltenders' confidence and focus might have been shattered after seeing a shutout streak of 194:51 dissolve into a horrendous 4 goal third period like the one Ramo faced in Game One against TPS A. However, just as Ramo has already proven he has the advanced maturity to compete at the SM-liiga level this season, he proved today he also has the maturity to put aside a bad loss and once again elevate his game when the chips are down. Now with the series knotted up the Cinderella Pelicans A have shortened their series against second seed TPS A into a best of three where anything can happen.
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