TAMPA BAY â€“ 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.
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.
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.
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.