At the start of the week I blogged about a number of questions about the Lightning's prospects that would begin to be answered at the Traverse City tournament. Unfortunately, half way through the tournament, the early reviews are not good:
Lightning 2007 draft pick Luca Cunti is not likely to play with St. Cloud State University of the WCHA this year. He was recently listed by a SCSU publication as being a commitment for 2008-2009, not this season, and his name was not appearing on the Chicago Steel (USHL) roster. Because of Cunti's late commitment, his arrival at SCSU this year was pending NCAA clearinghouse approval.
A WCHA blogger is now saying he's listed with Chicago, but he may be thinking of the Steel's protected list -- which is true. He's not on the roster on their web site.
We are currently awaiting official word from the Lightning, but at this point it looks as though Cunti will be in Chicago this year and SCSU next year. He could return to Europe this year, but that doesn't appear to be his intention.
Just some quick thoughts of mine going into this week's tournament:
Former Lightning defenseman and unrestricted free agent Luke Richardson has signed with the Ottawa Senators. An Ottawa native, the Ottawa Sun reports it is a one-year deal for $500,000 with a minor league clause. Richardson is expected to be the Senators' seventh defenseman, a role he played with the Lightning last year, appearing in 27 games. He accumulated three assists for Tampa Bay last season.
According to 620 WDAE the Tampa Bay Lightning will hold a press conference at 11 am this morning to announce the sale of the team, the lease rights to the St. Pete Times Forum and the surrounding properties.
New owners Absolute Hockey Enterprises, which includes as many as 10 principle owners, is led by former Florida Panthers coach Doug MacLean, Coral Springs real estated developer Jeff Sherrin and TV and movie producer Oren Koules.
The group has zero intention of moving the team and while MacLean will be CEO, Jay Feaster will remain general manager and John Tortorella coach.
For more, including news from today's press conference, see the Tampa Tribune.
Kevin Quick had one assist in the first of two intrasquad scrimmage games on Sunday at USA Hockeyâ€™s 2007 National Junior Evalation Camp in Lake Placid. Quick played on the USA Blue team which lost a squeaker to the USA White team 7-6 on Sunday.
USA Blue played USA White again Monday as a warmup prior to games with Finland and Sweden starting Tuesday. Team White beat Team Blue 4-3. The Game Boxscore hasn't been posted yet for the Monday game but you can check out a blog about the game at NHL.com.
First off, Bolt Prospects apologizes for being down last night. Unfortunately we had some technical difficulties with the ISP that our server runs on that took about 12 hours to remedy. The site is up and running again now and we don't foresee any related problems in the near future.
Second, stay tuned to Bolt Prospects over the next few weeks as we are expecting to get a glimpse at the preliminary roster for the Traverse City prospect tournament pretty soon.
With all of that out of the way, the flurry of free agent signings that came in the first three weeks of July seems to have subsided. The team now has 47 players under contract that will count against the 50-man roster limit, with Ryan Craig remaining to be signed who will be the 48th. For the most part the roster is set, which offers the opportunity to speculate on how the Lightning's organizational roster and lines will look at the NHL, AHL and ECHL level.
Jacob Micflikier, the UNH product that had an ATO with Springfield last year (3-1-4 in 9 games), was signed by Edmonton, so will be back in Springfield, most likely.
Being that it's a slow week for Lightning news...
The Albany Times Union reported yesterday that Eric Healey signed a free agent contract with the Colorado Avalanche on July 13, 2007. Healey was signed by the Lightning last summer and scored a career high 75 points (27 goals, 48 assists) enroute to leading Tampa's AHL affiliate in Springfield in goals, assists, and points. Healey finished the 2006-2007 AHL campaign as its 12th leading scorer.
The Detroit Free Press reported on Wednesday that the Red Wings signed forward Carl Corazzini to a one-year deal on July 16, 2007. Corazzini spent the last two seasons as an offensive fixture for the AHL's Norfolk Admirals, Tampa's new AHL affiliate. It was speculated by BoltProspects early in the off-season that Tampa might target Corrazzini as a possible signee for the 2007-2008 campaign, but the Lightning instead signed Craig MacDonald and Mathieu Darche as veteran offensive leaders for the Admirals.
We're going to switch gear and do something a little fun over the next week or two. One of the next features we're going to have on the site, now that we've released our 15th season All-Time Lightning Team is to create the All-Time Lightning All-Dog Team. We're going to go back through 14 seasons of Lightning hockey to reminisce on some of the worst players ever to wear the bolt and we need your help in crafting the list.
Here's the rules:
1.) You can't nominate any player whose rights are currently held by the Lightning. We're not looking to poison morale in the present, just to look back fondly on some of the bad old days. Sorry Tim Taylor haters, take it down the road.
2.) Whoever you nominate has to have played at least 10 games in a Lightning jersey. You lucked out Mario Larocque.
In the end we hope to have 12 awful forwards, 1 punchless enforcer, 6 defenseless defensemen and 2 sieve-like goaltenders. Nominees will be graded by the Bolt Prospects staff based on only the most unscientific of criteria, the foremost of which will be the shear stench they emitted while on the rink.
Don't feel like you have to give us all 22 players. Individual nominations are actually preferred. Use this blog thread to nominate who you think was the biggest mutt in Lightning history and give us a paragraph on why you think that player should be thrown in the pound. Then, keep checking Bolt Prospects over the next couple of weeks to see if we put your pooch on the list.