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.
(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.
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.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have announced that defenseman and BoltProspects alumni Mike Lundin has cleared waivers and has been assigned to Norfolk of the AHL.
Personally, so long as Mike doesn't pout in Norfolk, I think this could be a positive for his career, in the long term. When he was originally drafted Lundin was considered to be a young defenseman with some offensive upside. However, in the NHL, he's been asked to play a very simple game as a third pairing blueliner and simply not make mistakes. In Norfolk he should receive over 20 minutes a night including a healthy amount of power play time, which should help flesh out his game and could help him progress from being a #5/6 type defenseman in the NHL to a #3/4 type.
Word on the street is that Chris Gratton has reported to the Admirals and is likely to make his Norfolk debut tonight as well.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned right wing prospect Steve Downie to the Norfolk Admirals (AHL), it was announced on Friday by Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Brian Lawton.
Downie, a 5-foot-10, 192-pound native of Newmarket, Ontario, appeared in eight games with the Lightning after being recalled on November 27. He posted one goal and 16 penalty minutes. Downie was acquired in a trade with Philadelphia on November 7 and has skated in 10 AHL games between Philadelphia and Norfolk this season, tallying a goal, 12 assists and 51 penalty minutes.
On Thursday, the Lightning recalled defenseman Jamie Heward from Norfolk. Heward, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound defenseman, leads all Norfolk defensemen in scoring with 14 points. In 20 games, Heward has six goals and eight assists with 25 penalty minutes. Four of his goals and seven of his assists have come on the power play. Heward ranks in the top 15 of AHL scoring by defensemen. The 37-year-old from Regina, Saskatchewan, has two assists and four penalty minutes in four games with the Lightning this season.
The Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL affiliate of the Norfolk Admirals, have recalled Admirals captain Zenon Konopka, it was announced today by Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton.
Konopka's recall is an emergency call-up due to an upper body injury to Adam Hall, and does not subject Konopka to recall waivers.
Konopka, a 6-foot-1, 213-pound center, has played in 27 games with the Admirals this season, recording seven goals and 21 points while serving as team captain. He is tied for third on the team in points and is fifth in goals. His three game-winning goals lead the team.
The St. Pete Times is reporting that defenseman Kevin Quick and forward Chris Lawrence were recalled to Norfolk in a statement confirmed by Lightning GM Brian Lawton. Quick and Lawrence had been assigned to the now defunct Augusta Lynx.
Lawton went on to say that the Bolts are in discussions with "several" ECHL teams who want Quick and Lawrence, and that when a destination is determined, the players perhaps along with goalie Riku Helenius, will be moved together and not to different teams.
Victoria Salmon Kings, anyone?
The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled forwards Radek Smolenak and Paul Szczechura from the Norfolk Admirals, it was announced today by Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Brian Lawton. It is the first NHL call-up for both players.
Smolenak, a 6-foot-3, 183-pound left wing from Prague, Czech Republic, has appeared in all 23 games for Norfolk this season, scoring eight goals and 10 assists for 18 points. He leads Norfolk and is tied for third in the American Hockey League with 93 penalty minutes. He is the only player among the top 50 of both penalty minutes and scoring in the AHL. Smolenak also has three power play and one game-winning goal to go along with a +3 rating. Smolenak was drafted in the third round (73rd overall) by the Lighnting in 2005.
Szczechura, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound center, has also appeared in all 23 games for Norfolk this season, leading the team with 11 goals, 13 assists and 24 points. Szczechura is tied for ninth in the AHL in scoring and is tied for tenth in the league in goals. His +7 rating is best among Admirals forwards and he also has one power play, one shorthanded and one game-winning goal. Szczechura signed a two-year deal with the Lightning on April 24. Prior to that, he played under an AHL contract as a rookie in 2007-08, scoring 14 goals and 12 assists with the Admirals after being acquired from the Iowa Stars on January 15. Despite appearing in only 24 games with Norfolk last season, Szczechura led the team in scoring by a rookie and tied for the overall team lead in game-winning goals with three. He netted points in his first ten games with the Admirals â€“ the longest scoring streak ever by a Norfolk rookie and tied for the fourth longest streak overall.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned goaltender Riku Helenius to the Admirals from their ECHL affiliate, the Augusta Lynx, Admirals General Manager Mike Butters announced on Sunday.
Helenius, a 6-foot-3, 202-pound goaltender from Palkane, Finland, appeared in two preseason games for the Admirals, going 1-1-0 with a 4.00 goals-against average and .840 save percentage. He did not play in a regular season game with Norfolk prior to being reassigned to Augusta on October 16.
The 20-year-old went 3-4-1 in his first eight games of North American professional hockey with the Lynx this season, posting a 4.41 goals-against average and .874 save percentage. He recorded his first pro win in his pro debut, stopping 44 of 46 shots on October 21 at Gwinnett.
Helenius was originally drafted in the first round (15th overall) by Tampa Bay in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.