Submitted by pete on May 5, 2006 - 18:25
Some of you may have read about an article from the Red Deer Advocate which has bubbled to the surface this week speculating that Head Coach Brent Sutter is dissatisfied with the play of Lightning first round pick [url=vladimir-mihalik]Vladimir Mihalik[/url] and may be looking to replace the big Slovakian defenseman via the CHL Import Draft. Bolt Prospects correspondant Chad Schnarr contacted Greg Meacham of the Advocate and obtained a copy of the story which ran in March at the Rebels season end. Meacham admits that he was never told by Sutter directly that Mihalik wouldn't be asked back and that the story was his opinion/speculation. Bolt Prospects then contacted the Lightning organization to get their reaction to the story. The Lightning have not heard anything from their scouts or Red Deer about a falling out and intend to look into the matter further. The story leads to a number of questions regarding Mihalik's relationship with Coach Sutter in Red Deer. Most notably, why does the Advocate's WHL reporter get the impression from Sutter that the coach has such a negative opinion of Mihalik that he might not ask him back? Bear in mind, Sutter reportedly had a falling out last season with Lightning prospect [url=blair-jones]Blair Jones[/url] who was traded at midseason in 2004-2005 to Moose Jaw where he blossomed into the WHL's 6th leading scoring this year. In addition, Schnarr and Bolt Prospects have learned the Lightning still have not made decision regarding whether or not they will sign defenseman PJ Atherton.