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Bolts Send Ritola to Norfolk

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have assigned forward Mattias Ritola (RIH-toh-lah, mat-TEE-uhs) to the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Ritola, 6-foot, 192 pounds, has played in five games with the Lightning this season, recording 14 shots on goal while averaging 10:50 in ice time per game. He had season-highs for shots on goal with eight and time on ice with 15:11 on October 13 at the New York Islanders.

A native of Borlange, Sweden, Ritola has played in 43 career NHL games with the Lightning and the Detroit Red Wings, recording four goals and nine points. He appeared in 31 games with Tampa Bay in 2010-11, notching four goals and eight points. Ritola has played in 228 career AHL games with Norfolk and the Grand Rapids Griffins. During that time he has registered 50 goals and 133 points. Ritola has also played in 12 Calder Cup Playoff games, recording a goal and seven points.

Ritola was claimed off waivers by the Lightning from Detroit on October 5, 2010. He was drafted by the Red Wings in the fourth round, 103rd overall, of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

Ritola On Waivers

TSN's Bob McKenzie reported via Twitter today that Lightning prospect Mattias Ritola has been placed on waivers.

Ritola has spent most of the season in the press box as a healthy scratch for the Lightning. He's been in the middle of a forward rotation with Tom Pyatt and Blair Jones for playing time. Ritola had no points in his five games of action.

If Ritola clears waivers and is assigned to AHL Norfolk, it will be like when Michael Knight hit KITT's turbo boost button. Norfolk already leads the AHL in offense and Ritola had 27 points (9 goals) in 17 games with the Admirals last season.

He has until noon Thursday to be claimed.

Ritola has another year left on his contract, which he signed with the Red Wings before being claimed by Tampa Bay on waivers prior to last season. Although it's for a minimal amount of money, that extra year could scare teams away.

Stay tuned.

Tyrell to Return to Norfolk

The Tampa Bay Lightning announced via Twitter today that former Lightning prospect Dana Tyrell would be assigned to Norfolk of the American Hockey League. An official announcement is expected shortly.

Tyrell was in a heated battle for three roster spots in Tampa with Tom Pyatt, Mattias Ritola, Blair Jones, and Brett Connolly. Due to Mattias Ohlund being placed on injured reserve, only one cut was needed and Tyrell was demoted. All things being equal with the others involved in the roster race, Tyrell is still on his entry level contract which means he doesn't have to pass through waivers to be assigned to the AHL. The Lightning would risk losing one of the others had they been waived.

Though his contract played a part in the decision, had Tyrell clearly outplayed the others, it's likely he would still be in Tampa.

Admirals Send 3 to Everblades

The Tampa Bay Lightning reassigned forward Alex Hutchings and goaltender Pat Nagle to the ECHL's Florida Everblades today. In addition, the Lightning's to affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, assigned forward Philip-Michael Devos to the Everblades. These moves were announced today by Admirals General Manager Julien BriseBois.

Hutchings (pictured) spent most of last season with the Everblades after nearly hitting 50 goals his final year of junior hockey with OHL Barrie. In his first year pro, Hutchings had 13 goals and 26 points in 51 ECHL games. He added three points in four playoff games with Florida, and was scoreless in his only appearance with the Admirals.

Lightning Send Two Prospects Home

The Lightning announced today that prospect defensemen Adam Janosik and Geoffrey Schemitsch will be returning to their junior teams.

Both prospects were at practice this morning in Brandon, Florida. Janosik will return to Gatineau, whose season is already underway. Schemitsch will join the defending OHL champion Owen Sound Attack, whose first game is Wednesday.

Schemitsch was skating with a coach before practice this morning receiving extra instruction. He faired well in practice Sunday and played a simple, yet steady game Saturday during the scrimmage. He was schooled by Dominic Moore in one on one drills Monday.

Janosik (pictured) had a nice goal on Matthieu Garon in practice today from the point.

Ritola, Jones, and Tokarski Join Lightning Practices

Yesterday the Tampa Bay Lightning recalled forwards Mattias Ritola and Blair Jones, as well as goaltender Dustin Tokarski, from the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced. Norfolk was recently eliminated from the AHL’s Calder Cup Playoffs.

BP Note: The prospects will form what is known as the "Black Aces," a practice squad of sorts for the playoffs.

Ashton Joining Admirals

The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned forward Carter Ashton to the Norfolk Admirals from his junior club, the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League, Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Ashton, 20, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound right wing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, is a first-round draft pick of the Lightning (29th overall in 2009). He split this season between Tri City and the Regina Pats, scoring 33 goals and 71 points with 106 penalty minutes in 62 games between the clubs. He also netted 17 power play goals, tying him for fifth place in the WHL.

Landry to Join Admirals

The Tampa Bay Lightning reassigned defenseman Charles Landry to the Norfolk Admirals from Montreal of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Landry, 5-foot-11, 187 pounds, appeared in 57 games with the Montreal Juniors this season, recording career bests with 11 goals and 40 points. He also registered a plus-26 rating. Landry led the team in goals by a defenseman, was third in points by a defenseman and was tied for third overall in plus/minus. He also posted one goal and three points in ten playoff games for the Juniors.

A 19-year-old native of Napierville, Quebec, Landry has played in 234 QMJHL games between Montreal and the Drummondville Voltigeurs. He has registered 22 goals and 96 points during his career. He has also skated in 43 post-season games, amassing six goals and 12 points.

Originally undrafted, Landry was signed to a three-year, entry-level contract by the Lightning on September 15, 2010. He represented the Lightning at the 2010 Traverse City NHL Prospects Tournament as an invitee.
--Norfolk Admirals

Ritola Reassigned to Admirals

The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned forward Mattias Ritola to the Norfolk Admirals, Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Ritola, 6-foot, 192 pounds, has appeared in a NHL career-high 31 games this season with the Lightning, recording career-bests with four goals and eight points. He has also averaged 10:03 in ice time per game. Ritola recorded his first career multi-goal game March 14 at Toronto on his 24th birthday. He has played in nine games with the Admirals this season, recording two goals and 11 points with a plus-4 rating.

Admirals Sign Nagle to ATO

The Norfolk Admirals have signed goaltender Pat Nagle to an Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO), Admirals General Manager Julien BriseBois announced today. In addition, the Tampa Bay Lightning, NHL parent club of the Admirals, have reassigned goaltender Jaroslav Janus (YAHR-oh-slahv YAHN-ihs) from the Admirals to the ECHL’s Florida Everblades, Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced today.

Nagle, 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning last week. He played in 37 games with the Ferris State (Mich.) Bulldogs this season, posting an 18-14-5 record with a 2.02 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage. He ranked fifth in NCAA Division-1 in GAA, tied for ninth for shutouts with three and tied for 10th in save percentage. Nagle also set school records for GAA and was tied for second in save percentage.

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