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Day 4 Prospect Camp Teaser

Two things: If meritocracy is truly alive in the Lightning organization, Brian Woolger and Torrie Wheat continue their tryout at Traverse City. I've been to 3 of the 4 games and they've (along with Fuller) have been in the top 2 lines performance wise each game. Tonight the dominated: shots, scoring chances, the scoresheet,possesion time in the offensive zone and they play hard in all 3 zones. Woolger rung up 2 with wheat helpers. The second one was a one-timer blasted so hard you could hear the Feaster suite gasp, then chuckle. Woolger listed at LW, has centered all week. I outlined what I specifically wanted to focus on tonight and this line was one of them since they were productive collectively the first two games, but I could not identify what made them so successful. I was taken with Wheat's play from the first shift and Woolger kept popping up everywhere he needed to be. Fuller is a solid complement, but these two make the line. Towards the end of the game though was a defining moment from Wheat. He had carried the puck 1 on 3 just across the blueline and stopped right in front of the door where the lightning enter the rink from the locker room to wait for help. Our boy Quick lined him up and destroyed him. His upper body snapped backward into the bench probably at about 75 degrees bent back. His head then snapped right and hit the glass seperating the seats from the bench. He went down in a heap & the Lightning brass rose a bit to see how badly hurt he was (looked horrible - never seen a spine bent back that sharply). He was up in a few seconds (didn't pop-up) went up and down the ice a couple of times and finished his shift with a scoring chance about 6 feet to Ramo's right that a D'man jumped in front of. Needs 20 lbs. of muscle, but he's a Productive player tools or no.

Bolt Prospects Shatters Previous Traffic Records

As of roughly 7pm tonight, Bolt Prospects has registered 7,056 hits from non-staff members in the last 72 hours with people looking in to see the latest news on prospect camp. Two or three months ago I would've thought we were hot stuff just to break 3,000 hits in a week, and we'll probably have 12,000 or so hits easily this week (in the middle of the offseason, no less). I am humbled and deeply thankful to all our readers and I know when I speak for all the BP staff when I say just how appreciative we are of the web community that's coming together here. It's one thing to say it's going to happen and chart it out on paper, it's quite another to see it all come together. This is too cool. Thank you.

European Club Team Rankings

In quite impressive fashion, [url=http://www.hockeyarchives.info/top.htm]hockeyarchives.com has released their ranking of the top 250 European club teams.[/url] The rankings are based on both the 2005-2006 season as well as previous seasons' performances in both league play and interleague play. The rankings help paint a portrait of which Lightning prospects are playing for top level franchises and which have latched on with lesser clubs: The top 10 are: 1. Metallurg Magnitogorsk (RUS) [b]2. Ak Bars Kazan (RUS), Dimitri Kazionov[/b] 3. HV 71 Jonkoping (SWE) 4. Karpat Oulu (FIN) 5. Frolunda Goteburg (SWE) 6. Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (RUS) 7. Avangard Omsk (RUS) 8. Slavia Prague (CZE) 9. Farjestad (SWE) [b]10. Linkopings (SWE), [url=andreas-holmqvist]Andreas Holmqvist[/url][/b]

Springfield AHL's Most Improved Team?

Canoe.ca columnist Patrick Williams gives his list of offseason winners and losers in the AHL and Springfield not only comes out in the "winners" category, but Williams suggests the Falcons may be the league's most improved team. Williams cites the potential additions of defensemen Andy Delmore and Doug Janik, as well as center Eric Perrin as reasons for Falcons fans to be optimistic this year. Williams also mentions Johan Holmqvist as a possibility, but it is doubtful the Swede will be in Springfield to begin the year.

R-2 Headed for Holdout?

Erik Erlendsson of the [i]Tampa Tribune[/i] reports today that negotiations are not going well between the Lightning and restricted free agent winger Evgeny Artyukhin. "I'm not sure what his thinking is right now," Lightning General Manager Jay Feaster told the [i]Tribune[/i]. "Some of the things his agent has told us are very inconsistent with his role and bargaining position." "R-2," or "Arty" as he's called by his teammates, is projected to have a significant role in the Lightning's future, but struggled at the end of last season and saw his minutes fall considerably. He finished the year with four goals and 13 assists in 72 games. In the playoffs, Artyukhin was up to just over 8 minutes a game and added a goal. Artyukhin is the only member of the Lightning yet to be signed, and it doesn't appear that will happen any time soon. Of note: The article also lists cap hits for every player currently under contract with the Lightning and expected to make the parent club.
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