Features

Articles that are feature stories.

Lightning Interested in Signing Quick

Lightning General Manager Jay Feaster released the following statement on the Kevin Quick situation:

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We have shared with his family adviser our thoughts on what is best for both Kevin's hockey career in light of the options that are available to him as well as for his own personal development and well-being.

Quick, a freshman defenseman with the University of Michigan and a Lightning draftee, was dismissed from the Wolverines yesterday after "violating team rules and trust."

Prior to Kevin choosing to return to Salisbury Prep after his draft year, the Lightning put the full-court press on him, encouraging him to go the Major Junior route with his development (Both Kevin and his younger brother, Kyle, have their rights held by the Ontario Hockey League's Sarnia Sting). Kevin eventually returned to Salisbury for a year before choosing to play collegiately at Michigan.

Green Bay of the USHL drafted Kevin in 2006, but released him after Quick decided to return to Prep school.

With Quick's developmental path again at a crossroads, Feaster told BoltProspects, "We will be doing the same kind of lobbying in this case and, yes, we are interested in signing him."

Kyle Okposo, who is 19 like Quick, recently left the University of Minnesota on his own terms to join the New York Islanders' AHL affiliate in Bridgeport.

Quick could be signed and end up in the AHL with Norfolk, or he could go to Major Junior and play with the likely top 2008 NHL draft choice Steven Stamkos in Sarnia.

Quick Dismissed by Michigan

Culled from the message board...

Rivals.com is reporting the University of Michigan has dismissed freshman defenseman Kevin Quick from the team for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

MLive.com/Ann Arbor News reports:

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Coach Red Berenson did not give the specifics of why he dismissed the freshman defenseman from the program but said once he learned all of the details Thursday of what Quick did, it was the right thing to do.

"Obviously, it was serious enough that we had to let him go," Berenson said. "It was just a total violation of our team trust and our rules.

"He's a good kid, and it's been a long, long week for me having to make this decision, but it was the only thing to do."

Michigan players declined to comment about the dismissal. Quick could not be reached Friday for comment.

...

Berenson has suspended players in season before for academic or behavior reasons, but rarely has someone been immediately dismissed.

"I didn't know everything until (Thursday), and once I did, it was a quick decision," Berenson said.

Quick, a 3rd round pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, is considered one of the Lightning's brightest young prospects.

Hat tip to message board member Matt.

Adam Henrich: "If I didn’t commit myself, I was going to have to find something else to do with my life"

Former Lightning prospect Adam Henrich, who was not re-signed last summer after struggling with AHL Springfield, has been a completely different player recently while on a tryout contract with the Norfolk Admirals.

The Citizens Voice of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, recently caught up with Henrich after the former Brampton Battalion forward had a 4 point night leading the Ads to a 5-3 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

“I realized after last season I had to be more humble and work harder,” Henrich, who has 5 goals and 6 assists in 6 games since his promotion, told the newspaper.

(Edmonton Sun) Dana Tyrell Claws His Way Into Leading Role

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No matter what his role is, Dana Tyrell's work ethic remains the same.

After playing in the shadows of Devin Setoguchi, Eric Hunter, and Jared Walker last season, Tyrell has broke out in a big way this season with the Prince George Cougars.

"Even if things aren't going for Dana offensively, his work ethic is always the strongest on the ice. He is avery humble young man who plays the same way if he's the main guy or not," said Cougars head coach Drew Schoneck.

"Last year, he wanted to be 'the man', but he had a strong supporting cast of players. This year, he has taken that extra pressure and really been a force for our team in so many ways."

For the full feature by Jason Hills of the Edmonton Sun, which includes several quotes that give evidence as to why the Lightning chose Dana with their first choice in the 2007 draft, click here: Tyrell claws his way into leading role with Prince George Cougars

Bolt Prospects 2007-2008 Preliminary Rankings

It’s been a lengthy evaluation process but the time is finally here!

Today, Bolt Prospects is releasing its Preliminary Rankings for the 2007-2008 season. Due to the addition of the Lightning’s 2007 draftees, who will be appearing in the rankings for the first time, we have re-expanded the list back to 25. Seven players who have never appeared in the rankings make their debut this Fall.

Finglish

The Seattle Times has a feature today on Lightning goaltending prospect Riku Helenius:

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When Helenius gets really animated, he explodes into a steady cadence of Finnish and English. It's a hybrid of discordant syllables, and though no one really understands each word, the meaning is clear.

"There's some form of yelling coming out of his mask, but no one really knows what he's saying," Seattle coach Rob Sumner said.

"It just comes out naturally," Helenius said with a wide smile. "The players can figure out what I'm saying. There might be a couple of bad words, but those are bad words in Finnish, too."

For the remainder of the feature, see the Seattle Times story, T-Birds Goalie is a Force.

Saturday Morning With Coach Stirling and Claude Loiselle

I was fortunate enough to be invited down to The Scope before Saturday morning’s optional skate to talk to Norfolk Head Coach Steve Stirling and Norfolk General Manager Claude Loiselle. At about 9 am I made my way down to the building in the heart of a quiet downtown Norfolk. The hockey operations staff were in a good mood after beating the Binghamton Senators 5-1 in the Admirals’ home opener, and there was a feeling in the building that things were starting to get on the right track.

A Shot in the Arm: Farm Producing When Needed

In the new era of the NHL where the salary cap reigns, it is imperative clubs find and develop their own talent through their farm system. Since the lockout in 2004-2005, the Lightning has been forced to compete to stay at the top of the food chain by carefully shopping for affordable free agents and coordinating financially-sensitive trades. While other clubs have had the option of plugging multiple holes with cost-feasible prospects, the Lightning has been forced to look outside the organizational depth chart for help.

(Tampa Tribune) Lundin Making His Move

Defenseman Mike Lundin performed well at Traverse City prospects tournament and now in Brandon, Florida at the Lightning's NHL camp. Today, Erik Erlendsson featured Lundin in the Tampa Tribune.

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Mike Lundin arrived at Lightning training camp last week and did his best not to be star-struck at the amount of star power assembled in Tampa Bay's locker room.

Following a four-year career at the University of Maine where he posted 12 goals and 58 points in 159 games, the 2004 fourth-round draft pick enters his first year as a professional trying to find his place within the organizational roster.

Judging from his first few days of camp, his stock might be higher than previously thought.

To read the rest of the feature, see the Tampa Tribune.

Lightning TC Review: Positives Despite Results

Since Jay Feaster took over as general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2002, two things have stood out as being top priorities with the organization—winning and work ethic.

Success is earned.

In this meritocracy system, Feaster will do whatever it takes to win, and if a player doesn’t perform up to expectations, he is in danger of losing his spot on the depth chart, if not the roster.

Starting off their pro careers on the right foot is essential for young prospects in the organization, such as the 20 that finished eighth out of eight teams in last week’s Traverse City (TC) prospects tournament in Michigan. Individual performances aside, winning is priority number one with the club and the last-place finish is not sitting well with the general manager.

“I am not pleased with the results,” Feaster made sure to tell Bolt Prospects before providing player evaluations.

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