We continue our Prospect of the Week award, an honor (virtually) given to one Tampa Bay Lightning prospect for their recent contributions on and off the ice.
The Prospect of the Week for February 3, 2014 is … Adam Wilcox, G, Minnesota Golden Gophers (NCAA – USA).
They call Adam Wilcox “the Iron Man.” The Gophers goalie and Tampa Bay Lightning sixth round draft pick (2011) has the Marvel Comics character on his mask and has played in nearly every game since starting his collegiate career with the University of Minnesota.
Despite being sent to Syracuse for more ice time, Andrej Sustr hasn't seen much game action.
The 6-8 defenseman, hurt on his second shift since being reassigned by the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier this month, practiced with the Crunch Tuesday. After missing five games, he is nearing a return to the lineup.
“It’s been pretty good,” Sustr said of working his way back into game shape Tuesday. “I’m aiming for this weekend.”
With Syracuse on a five-game losing streak, the addition of Sustr is a major shot in the arm to a struggling Crunch defense that has surrendered 23 goals in the past five games.
Lots of questions this week, most of which involve speculating on future Lightning lineups. I'm the Miss Cleo of Lightningland, apparently.
Here we go...
What's the deal with the Reto Suri situation and where would he be on the depth chart? (@awoundedzebra1)
Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times reported earlier this week that Suri is indeed on the Lightning’s radar, but the club can’t talk to him until Suri, his agent, and the club work out an agreement enabling the 2014 Olympian to get out of his current contract. Suri told RTS.ch that he expects to sign with Tampa Bay.
Swisshockeynews.ch reported Suri got an out clause, but he hasn’t signed it and will take the Olympic break to consider it. The conditions are that if Suri returns to Switzerland from the fall until 2017, he has to return to his club team, Zug, and if he comes back mid-season, Zug only has to pay him half his due amount.
The site points out that Suri can wait until his Zug contract is over in 2015 and be free to do what he wants.
After skating in a red practice jersey Tuesday, Richard Panik reiterated his intentions -- he came to play.
In his first game of the season with the Syracuse Crunch Saturday, the 6-3 Slovakian winger posted an assist before absorbing a thundering check by the Hershey Bears’ Tyson Strachan. Panik quickly got up from the hit, and instead of taking the game off Sunday to rest and recuperate an apparent upper body injury, he was back on the ice against the Sound Tigers Sunday.
“He gamed it out against Bridgeport,” said Crunch coach Rob Zettler.
Is the party starting to wind down? With the Lightning transitioning to a more youthful team and injuries forcing more call-ups than originally anticipated, our Bolt Prospects Midterm Rankings will take on a decidedly different feel. With the likes of Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, and Radko Gudas becoming full-time NHLers, the list seems a little thinner this time around. Still, this year's Midterm list is still top-heavy with some of the finest NHL prospects you'll find anywhere in the land. With several other prospects very close to graduating from prospect status on the site, though, and the next wave of prospects struggling a bit in Syracuse, now is an excellent time for readers to reflect on what an amazing past couple of years the Lightning pipeline has had. From Norfolk's record-breaking winning streak and Calder Cup championship to the Syracuse Crunch's Eastern Conference crown and Tyler Johnson's emergence as a Calder Trophy candidate in the NHL, these were good days the likes of which don't come around often. Appreciate them.