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Submitted by pete on August 15, 2005 - 10:03
Boltprospects staff member Chad Schnarr has learned from the Tampa Bay Lightning that neither they nor Nikita Alexeev's agent knows about his reported signing with Avangard Omsk. Both parties are awaiting official confirmation of the signing. The question now becomes: Did Nikita Alexeev sign a contract with Omsk without an agent? Also, Boltprospects has learned that despite overtures from the Lightning Matt Smaby has decided to stay in school at North Dakota.
Submitted by pete on August 14, 2005 - 20:43
Team Russia [url=http://www.russianprospects.com/public/tournament.php?tour_id=2006014&anchor=Main]has announced it's initial roster for the Czech leg of the EuroTour[/url] and it features two Tampa Bay Lightning prospects: LW Anton But and C Dimitry Kazionov.
Submitted by pete on August 13, 2005 - 12:43
In his Friday column Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune [url=http://bolts.tbo.com/lightning/MGBD8PES9CE.html]speculated the team's cap situation may force the Lightning to carry one or two rookie defensemen on the roster on opening night.[/url] That's a pretty fair expectation and at the very minimum I suspected the Lightning would put one of the rookies into the #7 defenseman slot at the league minimum for economic reasons. Erlendsson lists several prospects as potential options and, in particular, highlights Swiss stay-at-home defenseman Timo Helbling. Helbling, you might remember, checked in at #5 on my personal list of overage Lightning prospects. Here's my handicapping of the situation:
Submitted by pete on August 13, 2005 - 12:37
Russianprospects.com is reporting [url=http://www.russianprospects.com/public/tournament.php?tour_id=2006011&anchor=Main]Nikita Alexeev has signed a one-year deal with Russian Superleague club Avangard Omsk.[/url] Alexeev had been training with Omsk under a tryout contract for the last month but the Lightning have extended a qualifying offer to Nikita and it appeared he would be returning to North America this season. However, with Alexeev signing a deal in Russia it may be fair to speculate if Alexeev doesn't win an NHL spot out of camp he may bolt North America rather than play another season in the AHL. Story developing.
Submitted by pete on August 10, 2005 - 19:36
Lost in the shuffle of the signings of Dimitry Afanasenkov, Dan Boyle, Sean Burke and Rob DiMaio yesterday is some of the [url=http://www.tampabaylightning.com/prdetail.cfm?pressreleaseID=1115&category=3]reshuffling that occured in the front office on Channelside today.[/url] Dave Heitz who primarily scouted the US prep school and NCAA ranks for the Lightning is being moved to Full Time Professional Scout to compensate for the loss of Rick Patterson to Anaheim. Also impacting the scouting and development ranks is the hiring of former Lightning goaltender Corey Schwab as Associate Goaltending Coach and Scout. The move makes strategic sense for a Lightning team that just signed two raw rookie prospects in Jonathan Boutin and Gerald Coleman who will need hands on guidance Jeff Reese probably won't have time to provide while attending to John Grahame as he assumes the full-time starting role for the first time in Tampa.