Pete Choquette's blog
On Bolt Prospects, we've always advocated the wisdom of adding more emphasis to the Lightning's developmetal system and for the first time since the Fall of 2002, the Lightning will be holding a prospect camp. From a personal standpoint, I went to every day of that 2002 camp where I first got to watch a young defenseman from Oshawa named Paul Ranger who I went away convinced had a shot at making the NHL. Almost four years later the Lighhtning have done a lot to help fix what was, at that time, a dysfunctional developmental apparatus. They've been a regular at the Traverse City prospect tournament over the past three years and, more importantly, they've locked up a full affiliation with the AHL's Springfield Falcons. They've even gone a step further in buying into the ECHL's Johnstown Chiefs giving the club additional developmental spots and the opportunity to take a flyer on undrafted free agents who have fallen through the cracks. The 20 tryout players who are being invited to this camp are part of that effort.
With today's signing of Eric Healey, Bolt Prospects' Chad Schnarr believes the Lightning have hit their 50-man contract limit presuming they re-sign all outstanding RFA's. With that in mind we can begin to speculate on the shape of the rosters of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Springfield Falcons and Johnstown Chiefs for the 2006-2007 season.
According to TSN.ca Pavel Kubina has signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs for 4 years at $5M per season. Best of luck to Toronto with that. I think Pavel is really only worth about half that.
Apparently the Hurricanes have signed John Grahame to a two year deal for about 1.5M per.
Boston has loaded up by signing Chara and Marc Savard.
Phoenix has signed Ed Jovanovski.
It's been a long while since I did one of these:
You have no idea how hard it is for me to compliment a division rival but the Hurricanes, but they are due a lot of respect for what they've accomplished in winning the Stanley Cup tonight. In many ways their season and their run to the Cup was very similar to the Lightning's two years ago. So, congratulations Carolina and in particular Cory Stillman, whom I respect as a hockey player more than 99% of the players in this league. And condolences to Edmonton, who for the past ten or so years has been a gritty heart and soul franchise that has been nothing but a credit to this league.
All that said, next season the Lightning need to take their trophy back.