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Lightning Return James Wright to WHL; Claim Nate Thompson Off Waivers

Steve Ewen of the Dub Hub is reporting that forward James Wright has been reassigned to his junior team, the Vancouver Giants of the WHL. From the Dub Hub phone interview with Wright, "I'm disappointed to be sent home. Any hockey player is disappointed when he doesn't make the team. But I'm going to try to keep a good head on my shoulders and play hard. They [Lightning] need to make the playoffs and this it the route they're going and it's hard for me but I do understand." Wright doesn't turn 20 until March 24th, so he is currently ineligible to be assigned to the Norfolk Admirals.

Earlier today, the Bolts claimed LW/C Nate Thompson off of waivers from the New York Islanders. Thompson, a 2003 6th round pick of the Boston Bruins signed a three-year entry level contract with the Bruins in 2005, but was claimed off waivers by the Islanders in October 2008. This past summer the Islanders resigned Thompson to a one-year contract.

Bolts Recall Dustin Tokarski to Tampa

TAMPA BAY, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled goaltender Dustin Tokarski (toh-KAHR-skee) from the Norfolk Admirals, Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced today. This is the rookie netminder’s first career National Hockey League recall.

Tokarski, 20, is a 5-foot-11, 185-pound goaltender out of Watson, Saskatchewan. He has posted a 12-13-0 record with two shutouts, a 2.68 goals-against average and .911 save percentage in his first 25 professional games with the Admirals this season. He turned aside 28 shots last night to help Norfolk defeat the Hershey Bears 4-3 at Scope.

Tokarski was drafted by the Lightning in the fifth round (122nd overall) in 2008. He won the 2006 Canadian Midget National Championship with the Prince Albert Mintos, was MVP of the 2008 Memorial Cup with the Western Hockey League’s Spokane Chiefs, and won the gold medal at the 2009 World Junior Championships for Team Canada.

Jones Reassigned to Norfolk

Following up from a story from Monday, the Tampa Bay Lightning are reporting via Twitter that prospect forward Blair Jones has been reassigned to the Norfolk Admirals after clearing waivers at noon on Tuesday. Still no word on the destination of prospect forward Martins Karsums after he cleared waivers on Monday.

Lightning Place Blair Jones on Waivers; Karsums Clears

Bob McKenzie of TSN is reporting via Twitter that the Tampa Bay Lightning have placed prospect forward Blair Jones on waivers. BoltProspects assumes that Jones has been waived for purposes of reassignment to the Norfolk Admirals. Jones had recently been criticized by head coach Rick Tocchet as not being opportunistic with potential scoring chances over the last few games, despite bringing a physical and energetic role to the Tampa frontline.

McKenzie is also reporting that prospect forward Martins Karsums has cleared waivers, but his destination at the moment is uncertain. It has been speculated by some in the local Tampa media that Karsums was on waivers as a precursor to his returning to Europe, but with Jones being place on waivers it would seem that perhaps Karsums will be recalled to the Lightning.

Stay tuned to continued developments as this story unfolds.

Bochenski on Re-Entry Waivers

Bob McKenzie of TSN is reporting via Twitter that Tampa Bay has put Norfolk leading scorer Brandon Bochenski on re-entry waivers. Bochenski has 16 goals and 16 assists for 32 points in 36 games with the Admirals this season, and was recently named an AHL All-Star starter for PlanetUSA. He has 24 goals in 128 career NHL games, but none in seven games with the Bolts. More to come...

Bolts Return Helenius to Admirals

TAMPA BAY, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Lightning have returned goaltender Riku Helenius to the Norfolk Admirals, Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced today. In addition, the Admirals announced today that goaltender Shane Connelly has been released from his Professional Tryout Contract (PTO).

Helenius, a 6-foot-3, 211-pound goaltender from Palkane, Finland, served as the backup goaltender for in the Lightning’s 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday night. Helenius has played in 12 games with the Admirals this season, recording a 5-7-0 record with a .896 save percentage and a 2.75 goals-against average.

Last season, he led the Admirals in both goals-against average (GAA) and save percentage in his first North American professional season. In 25 games with Norfolk, the 21-year-old went 9-15-0 with one shutout, a 2.72 GAA and a .918 save percentage.

Drafted by Tampa Bay in the first round (15th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, made his NHL debut in relief on January 30 with Tampa Bay versus Philadelphia and stopped the two shots he faced in his only career NHL action to this point. Helenius also appeared in 11 ECHL games last season between the Augusta Lynx and Mississippi Sea Wolves, going 4-5-2 with a 3.80 GAA.

Connelly served as backup goaltender for the Admirals in Hershey last night.

Lightning Recall Riku Helenius and Mike Lundin

TAMPA BAY, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Lightning, have recalled prospect goaltender Riku Helenius and defenseman Mike Lundin from the Norfolk Admirals, Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced today.

Helenius, a 6-foot-3, 211-pound goaltender from Palkane, Finland, has played in 12 games with the Admirals this season, recording a 5-7-0 record with a .896 save percentage and a 2.75 goals-against average.

Last season, he led the Admirals in both goals-against average (GAA) and save percentage in his first North American professional season. In 25 games with Norfolk, the 21-year-old went 9-15-0 with one shutout, a 2.72 GAA and a .918 save percentage.

Drafted by Tampa Bay in the first round (15th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, made his NHL debut in relief on January 30 with Tampa Bay versus Philadelphia and stopped the two shots he faced in his only career NHL action to this point. Helenius also appeared in 11 ECHL games last season between the Augusta Lynx and Mississippi Sea Wolves, going 4-5-2 with a 3.80 GAA.

Lightning Recall Blair Jones

TAMPA BAY, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled center Blair Jones from the Norfolk Admirals, Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced today.

Jones, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound native of Central Butte, Saskatchewan, has appeared in two games for the Lightning this season. In those games, he has recorded one shot on goal and averaged 12:43 in ice time per game. Jones has played in 26 career NHL games with the Lightning, recording a goal and three points. He was originally selected by Tampa Bay in the fourth round (102nd overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

Bolts Send Jones Back to Norfolk

TAMPA BAY, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned center Blair Jones to the Norfolk Admirals, Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced today.

With both Steven Stamkos and Ryan Malone playing Friday night against the Avalanche, the Lightning no longer needed Jones on the roster as insurance.

Lightning Reassign Jones to Admirals

TAMPA BAY, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned center Blair Jones to the Norfolk Admirals, Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced Sunday.

Jones, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound native of Central Butte, Saskatchewan, appeared in two games for the Lightning after being recalled on Friday. He recorded one shot on goal and averaged 12:43 in ice time per game. Jones has played in 26 career NHL games with the Lightning, recording a goal and three points. He was originally selected by Tampa Bay in the fourth round (102nd overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

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