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Lokomotive Signs Artyukhin

Contract posturing between Evgeny Artyukhin's camp and the Tampa Bay Lightning has taken another ugly step as Evgeny Artyukhin has signed a contract with Russian Superleague club Yaroslavl Lokomotive. [url=http://www.sport-express.ru/art.shtml?125468]According to the Russian newspaper Sport Express[/url] Artyukhin joined Islanders prospect Sean Bergenheim and NHL veteran Eric Chouinard in inking deals with the team. The contract is likely not binding should Artyukhin reach agreement with the Lightning but does potentially strengthen the young wingers bargaining position as he attempts to get more than the two-way qualifying offer for over $600,000 he received from the Lightning. [b]Update[/b] Erik Erlendsson writes [url=http://www.tboblogs.com/index.php/sports/related/C189/]on the Tampa Tribune blog[/url] that Artyukhin won't be returning, period. My understanding though is that such deals are signed with regularity with Russian clubs as fallback positions to strengthen bargaining postures and aren't binding, so I wouldn't completely shut the door on Artyukhin returning this season. For instance, according to Russianprospects.com prospects Denis Grebeshkov (Islanders) and Pavel Vorobiev (Blackhawks) have signed similar insurance deals in the last month looking to better their lot at the negotiating table. If Artyukhin doesn't return, this gives an opportunity to both Nikita Alexeev and [url=nick-tarnasky]Nick Tarnasky[/url] to make this team out of camp, with an outside chance to [url=darren-reid]Darren Reid[/url] if he shows his skating has improved over the summer.

Falcons Open On The Road

The Springfield Falcons released their [b]2006-2007 Regular Season Schedule[/b] today. The Falcons open with three games on the road starting October 7 against Hartford and October 13 and 14 against Norfolk. Springfield's home opener is October 20 vs. Manchester.

No Russian Transfer Deal

[url=http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=sportsNews&storyID=2006-08-02T190030Z_01_L02867166_RTRUKOC_0_US-ICE-HOCKEY-RUSSIA.xml&archived=False]Russia refuses to sign the NHL transfer deal after all.[/url] MOSCOW, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Russia will not sign a transfer agreement with the National Hockey League (NHL) just weeks after ratifying the deal, the country's ice hockey chief said on Wednesday. Vladislav Tretyak, president of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation (RIHF), said the proposed agreement was not in the best interest of Russian clubs. "We have been in constant negotiation with the NHL, trying to reach a fair deal, but unfortunately we were unable to fully take into account the interests of Russian clubs," said Tretyak.

Let the Countdown Begin

In the excitement of the last week we neglected to point out the tiny detail of when the Traverse City tournament will take place. This year the tournament will run from September 8th to 12th. The number of teams slated to participate this year is jumping to eight with the teams split in two "conferences". The "Eastern Conference" will be comprised of the Lightning, Thrashers, Red Wings and Rangers. The "Western Conference" will be made up of the Blues, Blue Jackets, Stars and Wild. Three round robin games will be played in conference with teams advancing to play in a single placement game at the end of the tournament.

Tentative Traverse City Roster

The following is the Lightning's tentative 2006 Traverse City roster. (Note: Names and commitments are subject to change)
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