Tampa Bay Lightning

Content regarding the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.

Confirmed: Helbling Gone

According to Tampa Bay General Manager Jay Feaster, the Lightning released Timo Helbling. "While it is tough to find good young defensemen," Feaster stated, "our Tampa Bay coaching staff, in particular, Craig Ramsay, felt that Timo simply wasn't picking-up and demonstrating a willingness to play our system." Feaster also mentioned Springfield coaches were frustrated with what was perceived to be a failure on Helbling's part to learn from his mistakes. Also, the additions of Andy Delmore and Doug Janik caused Helbling to re-examine his role with the club and the restricted free agent who played in nine games with Tampa last season was seeking a one-way contract from the team. The club was not going to give him a one-way contract and combined with the above-stated issues, the team and Helbling mutually agreed to his release. This leaves the Lightning with 48 contracts against the 50-man limit. ***8/10 Update: Helbling has signed with the Hershey Bears of the AHL. The Bears also signed defenseman Don Grover, who participated in the Lightning's prospect camp last month as a tryout player. He had been invited to Springfield's camp as a tryout player.

Helbling Gone?

Eurohockey.net [url=http://www.eurohockey.net/transfers/last_24_hours.html]is reporting the rumor that Timo Helbling has been dealt to the Washington Capitals.[/url] In multiple local print stories Helbling had been mentioned as a possibility to make the Lightning this season along with defenseman [url=doug-obrien]Doug O'Brien.[/url] This story is developing. [b]Update:[/b] The source of the Helbling to Washington rumor is [url=http://www.eishockey.ch/news/detail.asp?ID=248853]an article on the website eishockey.ch.[/url] According to the site, Helbling has signed a two-way contract with the Capitals as an unrestricted free agent. This story is still developing. [b]Update Two:[/b] The story of Helbling leaving as a UFA doesn't jibe with several websites which list Helbling as an RFA [url=http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?page=2006freelist]including ESPN.com.[/url] It should also be noted that within the past 48 hours [url=http://www.nhlpa.com/WebStats/PlayerBiography.asp?ID=7031]NHLPA.com began listing Helbling as signed this season for the league minimum of $450,000.[/url] [b]Update Three:[/b] [url=http://www.hockeyfans.ch/news_portal/news.php?id=15811&month=8&year=06&modus=]Hockeyfans.ch reports that Helbling has reached verbal agreement with the Caps[/url] on a two-way deal and that Helbling had been preparing to play this season with Kloten in the Swiss league.

Lokomotive Signs Artyukhin

Contract posturing between Evgeny Artyukhin's camp and the Tampa Bay Lightning has taken another ugly step as Evgeny Artyukhin has signed a contract with Russian Superleague club Yaroslavl Lokomotive. [url=http://www.sport-express.ru/art.shtml?125468]According to the Russian newspaper Sport Express[/url] Artyukhin joined Islanders prospect Sean Bergenheim and NHL veteran Eric Chouinard in inking deals with the team. The contract is likely not binding should Artyukhin reach agreement with the Lightning but does potentially strengthen the young wingers bargaining position as he attempts to get more than the two-way qualifying offer for over $600,000 he received from the Lightning. [b]Update[/b] Erik Erlendsson writes [url=http://www.tboblogs.com/index.php/sports/related/C189/]on the Tampa Tribune blog[/url] that Artyukhin won't be returning, period. My understanding though is that such deals are signed with regularity with Russian clubs as fallback positions to strengthen bargaining postures and aren't binding, so I wouldn't completely shut the door on Artyukhin returning this season. For instance, according to Russianprospects.com prospects Denis Grebeshkov (Islanders) and Pavel Vorobiev (Blackhawks) have signed similar insurance deals in the last month looking to better their lot at the negotiating table. If Artyukhin doesn't return, this gives an opportunity to both Nikita Alexeev and [url=nick-tarnasky]Nick Tarnasky[/url] to make this team out of camp, with an outside chance to [url=darren-reid]Darren Reid[/url] if he shows his skating has improved over the summer.

No Russian Transfer Deal

[url=http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=sportsNews&storyID=2006-08-02T190030Z_01_L02867166_RTRUKOC_0_US-ICE-HOCKEY-RUSSIA.xml&archived=False]Russia refuses to sign the NHL transfer deal after all.[/url] MOSCOW, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Russia will not sign a transfer agreement with the National Hockey League (NHL) just weeks after ratifying the deal, the country's ice hockey chief said on Wednesday. Vladislav Tretyak, president of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation (RIHF), said the proposed agreement was not in the best interest of Russian clubs. "We have been in constant negotiation with the NHL, trying to reach a fair deal, but unfortunately we were unable to fully take into account the interests of Russian clubs," said Tretyak.

Sooo...1 signing needed, Artyukhin...

... I mean I love the kid, don't get me wrong. Size for days, bursts of speed that are unreal, good at finding the front of the net...needs to work on his hands and his finishing, but certainly a jewel to be polished. That polish includes instilling a bit of discipline. That youthful digging and intensity is good, but a controlled murder is what is needed. Can he be controlled?? or, does he want to play a controlled game?? I think Arty owes a chance for us to find out. His agent, it is said, is whispering in his ear. oh, you know what that's about...hehehe, no doubt visions of sweet, plump commission checks dancing through his melon...
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