Russian website championat.ru is reporting a rumor sourced to Sport-Express that goaltender Vasily Koshechkin may possibly play next season for KHL club Mytischi. Koshechkin split last season between Togliatti and Magnitogorsk of the KHL and was reportedly an option to be signed by the Lightning this summer if ex-GM Brian Lawton had remained in Tampa Bay. Mytischi added Lightning prospect Denis Kazionov to its roster earlier this offseason and recently re-signed former Lightning draft pick Alexei Glukhov.
An accomplished scorer in the minors, Purcell has been somewhat of an inconsistent prospect in the NHL thus far, with three goals and three assists in 41 games so far this year on a stacked Kings squad. He had 16 points (4 goals) in 40 games with the Kings a season ago.
TAMPA BAY, Fla. â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned forward Radek Smolenak to the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League, it was announced today by Lightning Executive Vice President & General Manager Brian Lawton.
Smolenak, 23, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound left wing from Prague, Czech Republic, appeared in 39 games with the Admirals this season, scoring seven goals and 14 assists with 49 penalty minutes. After skating in one regular season game with the Chicago Blackhawks to start the season, he was re-claimed on waivers by the Tampa Bay Lightning on October 10 and was reassigned to Norfolk. He was signed by the Lightning to a one-year contract on September 12.
The towering goaltender was recently pushed to No.3 in AHL Norfolk when the Lightning signed Jaroslav Janus from Erie of the OHL. Dustin Tokarski is the No.1 in Norfolk, though he's currently filling in for an injured Mike Smith in Tampa.
Helenius will join Sodertalje SK of the Swedish Elitserien League, and according to his agent, Jay Grossman (via Aftonbladet), this will give the young netminder more playing time.
Helenius was drafted in the first round (15th overall) at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He appeared in 12 games for Norfolk this year, posting a 5-7 record with a 2.75 GAA and .896 save percentage. He appeared in one game for the Lightning last season, stopping both shots he faced in mop-up duty. He previously played for Seattle of the WHL.
Update: The Lightning have confirmed the transaction, along with Tokarski being reassigned to Norfolk (1/24).
Steve Ewen of the Dub Hub is reporting that forward James Wright has been reassigned to his junior team, the Vancouver Giants of the WHL. From the Dub Hub phone interview with Wright, "I'm disappointed to be sent home. Any hockey player is disappointed when he doesn't make the team. But I'm going to try to keep a good head on my shoulders and play hard. They [Lightning] need to make the playoffs and this it the route they're going and it's hard for me but I do understand." Wright doesn't turn 20 until March 24th, so he is currently ineligible to be assigned to the Norfolk Admirals.
Earlier today, the Bolts claimed LW/C Nate Thompson off of waivers from the New York Islanders. Thompson, a 2003 6th round pick of the Boston Bruins signed a three-year entry level contract with the Bruins in 2005, but was claimed off waivers by the Islanders in October 2008. This past summer the Islanders resigned Thompson to a one-year contract.