Bolts Trade Mitch Fritz; Acquire Bryce Lampman

Eric Erlendsson is reporting in his blog today that the Tampa Bay Lightning have traded enforcer Mitch Fritz to the New York Rangers in exchange for defensive prospect Bryce Lampman.

Lampman, 24, was a 2001 4th round selection by the Rangers and has played the past five seasons with the Hartford Wolf Pack accumulating 19-57-76, +49, and 234 PIMs in 258 games played. During those 5 seasons, he appeared in 10 NHL games for the Rangers. “In Bryce Lampman we are obtaining a mobile, very good skating, puck-moving defenseman with good vision who sees the ice well, makes a very good first pass and who possesses excellent hockey sense,” Lightning General Manager Jay Feaster said in a team press release. “He is also a player who can be used in all special teams situations. For the past three or four seasons now our pro scouts have felt that he was on the verge of playing regularly in the NHL. He will come to training camp in September and have a chance to battle it out with probably five or six other players for the sixth and seventh spots on our blueline. Based on everything we have seen from him in the past, he is knocking on the door of being an NHL regular. We are thrilled to have him in our organization and we wish Mitch Fritz nothing but success.”

Lampman, an assistant captain with the Wolf Pack, signed a contract with TPS in Finland on June 6 and the restricted free agent, who was qualified by the Rangers, has an out clause with TPS should he sign with an NHL club by July 10.

Fritz, 26, was signed by the Lightning as a free agent in 2005 and the 6'8", 258lb winger is one of the most feared and respected enforcers in the AHL, accumulating over 356 PIMs in two seasons with the organization. According to the St. Pete Times, Fritz had contacted Feaster when the Lightning qualified the restricted free agent to express his concern over lack of playing time at the AHL level and the inability to get a better chance to make the NHL club.

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GREAT trade. Lampman is very

GREAT trade. Lampman is very solid at the AHL level and Fritz was only standing in the way of Brandon Elliot's development.

They've just about filled all the holes they can possibly fill in the minors now, with the exception of finding one more prospect netminder to sign.

Lampman signed.

I didn't see it in any press release, but both yahoo and forecaster have Lampman signing on July 4 - the day he was traded for.

This obviously gets him out of his contract with TPS before the July 10 deadline.

I can't find if he signed more than a 1 year deal, but it's unlikely.

Signed his QO...

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