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Mihalik, Wishart Returned to Norfolk

Tampa Bay Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Brian Lawton announced today that the Bolts have returned prospect defensemen Vladimir Mihalik and Ty Wishart to the Norfolk Admirals.

Mihalik, 6-foot-7, 222 pounds, appeared in three games with Tampa Bay after being recalled on January 1. He registered his first NHL point with an assist yesterday in the Lightning's 4-1 win at Atlanta. During the recall, Mihalik registered one assist and two penalty minutes. Mihalik has appeared in his first five career NHL games with Tampa Bay this season, registering one assist and two penalty minutes. He was drafted by the Lightning in the first round, 30th overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

Wishart, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound rookie defenseman, made his NHL debut Saturday, January 3 versus Carolina. He logged 7:53 of ice time and blocked two shots.

Concurrent with the return of Mihalik and Wishart, the Admirals have released defenseman Mitch Ganzak from his Professional Tryout Contract (PTO).

Lightning Recall Wishart

As had been widely reported unofficially, Ty Wishart is now officially set to make his NHL debut tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes. Tampa Bay Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Brian Lawton announced today that they have recalled defenseman Ty Wishart from the Norfolk Admirals on an emergency basis.

Wishart, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound rookie defenseman, has appeared in 31 games for Norfolk this season, scoring one goal and two assists with 13 penalty minutes and a +2 rating. He scored his first professional goal on December 19 versus Albany. Wishart made his professional debut last April with the Worcester Sharks, appearing in five games without registering a point. In 36 career AHL games, he has one goal and three points with 13 penalty minutes.

The Comcox, British Columbia native was acquired by the Lightning in a trade with the San Jose Sharks on July 4. He was originally drafted by the Sharks in the first round (16th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

With the Lightning defensive corps depleted by injuries to Lukas Krajicek, Paul Ranger, and Jamie Heward, Wishart joins fellow prospect defensemen Vladimir Mihalik and Matt Smaby to make up one-half of the Lightning's blueline against the Hurricanes.

Mihalik on Emergency Recall

Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune is reporting Lightning defenseman Paul Ranger will miss tonight's game against Washington with an injury. Damian Cristodero of the St. Pete Times reports prospect defenseman Vladimir Mihalik has been recalled on an emergency basis from Norfolk to take his place. Lucas Krajicek is expected to sit due to injury as well.

Lawrence, Jackson Recalled to Norfolk

Just in time for Nofolk's three game road trip, Admirals General Manager Mike Butters announced today that the Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned prospect forward Chris Lawrence and defenseman Scott Jackson to the Admirals from the ECHL Mississippi Sea Wolves

Lawrence and Jackson had both appeared in three games with Mississippi after being reassigned from Norfolk last Friday. Lawrence registered one assist and five penalty minutes in those three games. Jackson netted his first professional goal – the game-winner – last night at Gwinnett. He also registered two penalty minutes in his three-game stint with the Sea Wolves.

Lawrence, a 6-foot-4, 217-pound right wing, has appeared in 19 games with the Admirals this season, scoring one goal and two assists with 18 penalty minutes. The second-year pro has skated in 72 career American Hockey League games – all with Norfolk – and has scored six goals and 13 assists with 50 penalty minutes.

Jackson, a 6-foot-4, 213-pound native of Salmon Arm, British Columbia, has appeared in 16 games with Norfolk this season, registering one assist and seven penalty minutes. The rookie made his professional debut on October 11 versus Hershey.

Lawrence and Jackson Reassigned to Mississippi

Norfolk Admirals General Manager Mike Butters announced today that the Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned prospect forward Chris Lawrence and defenseman Scott Jackson from the Admirals to the ECHL Mississippi Sea Wolves.

Lawrence, a 6-foot-4, 217-pound right wing, has appeared in 19 games with the Admirals this season, scoring one goal and two assists with 18 penalty minutes. The second-year pro has skated in 72 career American Hockey League games – all with Norfolk – and has scored six goals and 13 assists with 50 penalty minutes. Earlier this season, the 21-year-old appeared in seven games with the ECHL Augusta Lynx, scoring one goal and two assists with 25 penalty minutes. Lawrence was drafted by the Lightning in the third round (89th overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

Jackson, a 6-foot-4, 213-pound native of Salmon Arm, British Columbia, has appeared in 16 games with Norfolk this season, registering one assist and seven penalty minutes. The rookie made his professional debut on October 11 versus Hershey. Jackson was signed by Tampa Bay as an unrestricted free agent on July 3, and was originally drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the second round, 37th overall, at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

Bolts Recall Smaby to Tampa

Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Brian Lawton announced that the Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled defenseman Matt Smaby from the AHL Norfolk Admirals.

Smaby, a 6-5, 220-pound native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, has skated in 25 games with Norfolk this season, recording two goals, four assists and 30 penalty minutes. He has also skated in two games with the Lightning earlier this month, averaging 10:02 of ice time and recording two penalty minutes.

Selected in the second round, 41st overall by the Lightning at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Smaby played three seasons for the University of North Dakota (2003-04 through 2005-06), captaining teams that reached the NCAA Frozen Four in consecutive seasons.

Lightning Recall Ramo, Reassign Helenius to Norfolk

With Lightning netminder Olaf Kolzig continuing to be bothered with an upper body injury, Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced that Tampa has recalled prospect goaltender Karri Ramo from the Norfolk Admirals. Ramo joined the team in Pittsburgh ahead of their Tuesday night tilt against the Penguins. Kolzig was sent home to Tampa after Saturday night's game 4-3 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers. Ramo backstopped the Admirals to their third straight victory last night in Philadelphia, stopping 30 shots in regulation and overtime and all four shooters in the shootout in a 3-2 win.

In addition, Admirals General Manager Mike Butters announced that Riku Helenius was reassigned from the ECHL Mississippi Sea Wolves by Tampa to the Norfolk Admirals. Despite a record of 3-0-0 with a 2.28 GAA and 0.944 SV% in 3 games since joining the Sea Wolves, Helenius served as Ryan Munce's backup in back-to-back road games against the Florida Everblades Friday and Saturday nights with Munce giving up a pair of 5-2 losses. Mississippi doesn't play again until after Christmas, and Helenius' recall to Norfolk will give him some more time to practice with Lightning goaltending coach Cap Raeder this week.

Bolts Reassign Ramo, Place Jokinen on Waivers

It's the tale of two Finns this holiday season, with one Finnish Bolt knowing where he'll spend Christmas, while another Finnish player is unsure of where his holiday celebrations will take place.

Tampa Bay Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced they have reassigned Bolt prospect goaltender Karri Ramo to the Norfolk Admirals today. The Asikkala, Finland native was on emergency recall to Tampa, backing up Mike Smith for last night's game against the Colorado Avalanche, due to a minor injury to Lightning netminder Olaf Kolzig. Ramo has appeared in one game this season for the Lightning, stopping 15 of 17 shots in relief on November 23 against New Jersey. Ramo has also appeared in 22 games for the Admirals this season posting a 6-11-4 record with a 3.71 goals-against average and a .885 save percentage. He ranks among the top five goaltenders in the American Hockey League in games played, minutes and shots faced.

The St. Petersburg Times is also reporting that the Lightning placed forward Jussi Jokinen on waivers at noon today. The Kalajoki, Finland native was the subject of numerous trade rumors prior to training camp, but played well for the Bolts in the early season with his versatile two-way play at both center and wing. However, Jokinen has been scoreless in his last 15 games and the return of Jeff Halpern from a knee injury suffered last spring coupled with the emerging play of prospect center Paul Szczechura has pushed Jokinen to the fringes of the lineup. Jokinen's future for the holidays will be known by noon on Saturday.

Ramo, Konopka Switch Places

(Norfolk releases) The Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL affiliate of the Norfolk Admirals, have recalled goaltender Karri Ramo from the Admirals on an emergency basis, it was announced today by Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton. The Lightning have also reassigned Admirals captain Zenon Konopka to Norfolk.

Ramo, a 6-foot-2, 207-pound goaltender in his third professional season, has appeared in one game this season for the Lightning, as he relieved Olaf Kolzig on November 23 against New Jersey and did not receive a decision after stopping 15 of 17 shots.

Smolenak Reassigned to Norfolk

Ahead of the pending return of Lightning center Jeff Halpern and forward Ryan Malone from injury, the Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned prospect forward Radek Smolenak to the Norfolk Admirals in a press release Sunday by Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Brian Lawton.

Smolenak, a 6-foot-3, 183-pound left wing from Prague, Czech Republic, skated in six games with the Lightning after earning his first NHL recall on December 2, recording an assist and 10 penalty minutes while averaging 8:20 in ice time. He made his NHL debut on December 2 at Philadelphia and recorded his first NHL point with an assist in that game.

Smolenak has appeared in 23 games for Norfolk this season, scoring eight goals and 10 assists for 18 points. The 22-year-old remains Norfolk's leader and ranks seventh in the AHL in penalty minutes with 93 PIM.

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