Koshechkin Was Almost No.8

Erik Erlendsson of the [i]Tampa Tribune[/i] reports the Lightning nearly signed Russian goaltender Vasily Koshechkin recently. The 6-6 behemoth spent the 2005-2006 season at the top of the goaltending leaders board in Russia for GAA, save percentage, and shutouts. Instead of signing with the Lightning this summer, the 23 year-old signed with Khimik. Had he signed, Koshechkin would have been the eighth goaltender under contract for Tampa, joining Sean Burke, Johan Holmqvist, Fredrik Norrena, Karri Ramo, Gerald Coleman, Jonathan Boutin, and Morgan Cey. Erlendsson also speculates that either Coleman or Boutin could be part of a trade package for either an established NHL No.1 goaltender or a defenseman. Also, he reports the recently signed Holmqvist, who signed a one year deal at $600k last week, was offered a two year deal by the Lightning. Confident in his abilities to adapt to the new NHL, Holmqvist chose the one year deal in order to possibly earn a larger paycheck for 2007-2008.