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Feaster Awards Spots to Prospects

Feaster beat me. I layed out all my overall evaluations from camp today and decided to blog my thoughts on the unsigned prospects first and to do it tonight figuring that Jay would announce those soon. Sooner than I thought. [url=http://www.tbo.com/sports/MGBABCCU8QE.html]From the Tampa Tribune:[/url] "PROSPECT CAMP: Feaster called this week's prospect conditioning camp a worthy investment of time and money. If there were a camp MVP, Feaster said Kevin Quick, the team's fourth-round pick in the 2006 draft, would earn the title. The GM said Quick was unbelievable in the five scrimmage games and is speaking to the defenseman and his parents about playing junior level hockey next year instead of returning to prep school on Connecticut in order to "accelerate" his progress.

Baker Hoping For Another Chance

Matthew Wuest of the [i]Halifax Daily News[/i] has written an interesting feature on Acadia forward Kevin Baker, who is one of the 41 prospects in camp this week. Baker, a former Kings draftee who played professionally with Lowell and St. John a few years back, just wants a chance to get back into professional hockey. He's getting that this week with the Lightning. Also in the feature, Lightning scout Darrell Young, who lives in Halifax, states the Lightning have spent approximately $100,000 this week to bring in players they think may be able to contribute somewhere in the organization. Young tells the [i]Daily News[/i] the organization is in search of offense, "and [Baker's] shown he can provide it." "We think with the rule changes, [Baker] has a chance," Young says.

European Club Team Rankings

In quite impressive fashion, [url=http://www.hockeyarchives.info/top.htm]hockeyarchives.com has released their ranking of the top 250 European club teams.[/url] The rankings are based on both the 2005-2006 season as well as previous seasons' performances in both league play and interleague play. The rankings help paint a portrait of which Lightning prospects are playing for top level franchises and which have latched on with lesser clubs: The top 10 are: 1. Metallurg Magnitogorsk (RUS) [b]2. Ak Bars Kazan (RUS), Dimitri Kazionov[/b] 3. HV 71 Jonkoping (SWE) 4. Karpat Oulu (FIN) 5. Frolunda Goteburg (SWE) 6. Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (RUS) 7. Avangard Omsk (RUS) 8. Slavia Prague (CZE) 9. Farjestad (SWE) [b]10. Linkopings (SWE), [url=andreas-holmqvist]Andreas Holmqvist[/url][/b]

Springfield AHL's Most Improved Team?

Canoe.ca columnist Patrick Williams gives his list of offseason winners and losers in the AHL and Springfield not only comes out in the "winners" category, but Williams suggests the Falcons may be the league's most improved team. Williams cites the potential additions of defensemen Andy Delmore and Doug Janik, as well as center Eric Perrin as reasons for Falcons fans to be optimistic this year. Williams also mentions Johan Holmqvist as a possibility, but it is doubtful the Swede will be in Springfield to begin the year.

R-2 Headed for Holdout?

Erik Erlendsson of the [i]Tampa Tribune[/i] reports today that negotiations are not going well between the Lightning and restricted free agent winger Evgeny Artyukhin. "I'm not sure what his thinking is right now," Lightning General Manager Jay Feaster told the [i]Tribune[/i]. "Some of the things his agent has told us are very inconsistent with his role and bargaining position." "R-2," or "Arty" as he's called by his teammates, is projected to have a significant role in the Lightning's future, but struggled at the end of last season and saw his minutes fall considerably. He finished the year with four goals and 13 assists in 72 games. In the playoffs, Artyukhin was up to just over 8 minutes a game and added a goal. Artyukhin is the only member of the Lightning yet to be signed, and it doesn't appear that will happen any time soon. Of note: The article also lists cap hits for every player currently under contract with the Lightning and expected to make the parent club.
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