Pete Choquette's blog

Bolt Prospects Sets New Site Traffic Record

It kind of shocked me today to look at our site traffic over the last three days, but Bolt Prospects has received over 9,600 hits in the last 72 hours meaning the site will have roughly 17,000-18,000 hits total this week. Don't know why the sudden spike, because we've been usually at 2,500-3,000 or so hits per 72 hours since the season started, but I like it.

To our new visitors, we encourage you to join the community by registering and leaving comments or writing your own blog posts. And, as usual, thanks everyone for reading and being a part of Bolt Prospects.

Prospect Rankings Update

As a result of today's trade of prospect Darren Reid, Bolt Prospects' staff has decided to update our rankings to reflect the departure. As a consequence, a new 25th prospect had to be named, and Bolt Prospects is pleased to announce PJ Atherton has made the list for the first time in his career.

Bolt Prospects plans to release its Midterm Rankings, a full and comprehensive update, some time after the U20 World Junior Championships conclude in January.

That Must've Killed HF Management

Hockey's Future [url=]finally released their first organizational rankings for the year.[/url] Ordinarilly finishing 27th out of 30 teams would be a cause for concern, but given Hockey's Future's history of blindly ranking the Lightning dead last out of bias (their Online Editor is a Thrashers fan with an agenda) without doing a lick of research and then regurgitating the same organizational strengths and weaknesses Chad and I wrote when we were at HF some 3-4 years ago, finishing 27th might as well be 17th. That's why it's hard, from my perspective, to see rankings like these and not crack a big smirk.

Word on the Street From Johnstown

Word on the street from Johnstown is that [url=andre-deveaux]Andre Deveaux[/url] and [url=jay-rosehill]Jay Rosehill[/url] were at this morning's practice for the Chiefs and thus, logically, have been sent down by the Falcons. Neither organization has released confirmation yet. The Chiefs opener is tonight at 7pm at home against Pensacola. [b]Update:[/b] [url=] has announced[/url] that Jay Rosehill has indeed been sent down to Johnstown. Also, Ian MacLean has been placed on the 7 day IR. Still no word on Deveaux.

I Don't Know, You Don't Either

It's a little over 3 hours until the puck drops on the 2006-2007 season. Looking around the internet, including this site, it seems the Lightning fan base has divided into two camps. One camp seems to believe the acquisition of Marc Denis will propel the Lightning back into the stratosphere of the Eastern Conference elite. The other camp seems far more pessimistic and tends to believe what much of the national hockey media is spouting about the Lightning falling from playoff contention this season. Both sides seem pretty dug in with their beliefs and both sides have shared a good amount vitriol with their counterparts on the other side. Both sides need to slow down. I don't know. You don't either. I suspect this is the nature of the beast in the new NHL where teams will be remaking at least 1/4 of their roster every offseason due to the relaxed free agency rules and the salary cap. It's impossible to tell how this year's version of the Tampa Bay Lightning will perform, and anyone who tells you they know one way or the other is dilluding themself. Team chemistry is a mysterious thing and, I would argue, not even John Tortorella has a complete idea when, if or how this team will gel with its new additions. With that in mind, here are some of the questions that will begin to be answered tonight in Atlanta:

Bolt Prospects in the News!

In today's Tampa Tribune, [url=]Erik Erlendsson cites Bolt Prospects[/url] as the source regarding news for goaltender [url=riku-helenius]Riku Helenius'[/url] shoulder injury. To my knowledge, this is the first time the site has ever been cited as a source by the mainstream media, so today we've taken another important step as a website. And the beauty of it is, we have our community of readers/bloggers to thank for it. Finnish community member Vsala first brought the injury to everyone's attention and member yackacack contributed the link to the Finnish website with information of the story. Then Chad went and got confirmation of the injury from the Lightning and a milestone was made. That's the beauty of a fully interactive blogging community. So, special thanks and kudos to all involved and by all means, keep blogging.

The Roster: Where We Stand

As the Lightning get down toward their final cuts we can finally get a good picture of what the team will look like on opening night and how it will effect the Springfield Falcons:

HF's Falcons Preview, Not So Good

Phil Laugher [url=]stubs his toe[/url], in my opinion.

Medical Experts Weigh In On Camp Torturella

[url=]In an interesting article in the Times[/url], Damian Cristodero interviews several medical experts as well as the Lightning training staff on the positive effects on "Camp Torturella". The Lightning have had the least amount of man games lost to injury the past two seasons, which can partially be attributed to their rigorous conditioning regime to start the year. I have this argument regularly with fans of other teams who claim the Lightning's success at preventing injury has been the product of luck alone, and it gauls me to no end that the conventional wisdom amongst the national hockey media often parrots the same point. There may have been a point to that after one season, but after two years of having the best success in the league it's a trend, one that other teams would be wise to follow. I will point out one factor which is missing from the article though, which is that the majority of the Lightning's players are in their mid to late 20's whereas many teams in the league have a much larger compliment of players over 30 on their rosters. Having a well conditioned and youthful team has helped the Lightning stay healthy as much as "luck" and the national hockey media needs to wise up to it.

Alexeev Claims He Grew An Inch

Nikita Alexeev claims he grew an inch and gained 10 pounds of muscle when he was in Russia [url=]in a Damian Cristodero article in the Times.[/url] He also claims he will "light it up" and "dominate every year." In related news, Alexeev also has some prime land in the Everglades he's looking to sell. The former 2000 1st round draft pick had 6 goals and 10 points in 40 games last season for Omsk in the Russian Superleague. Rhetorical question: if he didn't "light it up" in Russia how likely is it he will "dominate" now in the NHL? Not very. But I'm receptive to being surprised.
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