Norfolk General Manager Mike Butters announced Thursday that forward Mitch Fadden would not be signed and was returned to WHL Lethbridge. Fadden, who had 89 points in 72 games last year for Lethbridge, was thought to be a lock for an NHL contract this summer. Prior to the new ownership taking over in Tampa, then-Lightning general manager Jay Feaster told Bolt Prospects it was his intention to get Fadden signed this summer, though they were not under any deadline to do so.
The St. Pete Times is reporting is reporting that prospect defenseman Vladimir Mihalik has been reassigned to the Norfolk Admirals. Mihalik was a training camp surprise, making the season opening Tampa roster ahead of several other blueliners including Andrew Hutchinson and Matt Smaby. Mihalik received praise from Lightning head coach Barry Melrose in his NHL debuts in Prague.
Mihalik's reassignment comes amid speculation that the Bolts might be interested in claiming Calgary Flames veteran defenseman Rhett Warrener off of waivers or signing free agent defensmen Bryan Berard, as the Lightning traded blueliner Shane O'Brien to Vancouver for Lukas Krajicek earlier today. Lightning defenseman Paul Ranger, listed as a non-roster player prior to the opener, might be ready to return to action as he continues to re-hab his off-season surgically repaired shoulder.
As expected, goaltender Karri Ramo has been assigned to AHL Norfolk after returning from Prague where he accompanied the Lightning for the first two games of the regular season. Ramo, who was excellent in the preseason, was penciled in for Norfolk ever since the Bolts signed veteran goalie Olaf Kolzig July 1. Ramo was recalled from Norfolk on December 19 of last year and never returned. He played 22 games for the Lightning last season, going 7-11-3 with a 3.02 GAA and .899 save percentage. (source: tampabaylightning.com)
Despite some concern of whether forwards Brandon Bochenski and Zenon Konopka would clear waivers, both forwards passed through unclaimed at noon on Monday and have been reassigned to the Norfolk Admirals. Bochenski and Konopka was cut from the Tampa Bay training camp on Thursday night just prior to the team leaving for its European season opener against the New York Rangers next weekend in Prague. Both had to wait until Saturday's beginning of the 2008-09 NHL waiver season. The two are expected to be two-thirds of the Admirals top line to start the 2008-09 season, with head coach Darren Rumble on record as saying that Konopka would serve as the team's captain if not claimed.
Preseason action continues for the 0-2-0-0 Admirals this Friday and Saturday when the Philadelphia Phantoms play back-to-back games at the Scope in Norfolk.
Dana Tyrell was also returned to Prince George of the WHL.