The Lewiston MAINEiacs of the QMJHL traded veteran defenseman and Lightning prospect Michael Ward to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Friday. Ward was sent to Nova Scotia with forward Stephen Horyl for a young blueliner, an overage forward and a fifth round draft pick.
Ward, who is likely in his final year of junior, has 4 goals and 13 assists in 35 games so far this year. He moves to a Cape Breton team that is 25-11-1-1 overall and sits 5 points back of first place Moncton in the Atlantic Division.
Ward is a 2007 7th round pick of the Lightning. He drew comparisons to Paul Ranger when drafted, though his offensive game hasn't exploded near as much as Ranger's did in the later years of his junior career. Ward has added more offense to his game this year, though he's known more for his defensive presence.
Lightning prospect Denis Kazionov has transferred from Khabarovsk of the Russian KHL to Boleslav of the Czech Extraliga. Through 9 games with Boleslav, Kazionov has 2 assists and is -1 with 35 penalty minutes. Boleslav sits at 14th among 14 teams on the Extraliga table.
Tukonen, who was selected 11th overall by Los Angeles in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, floundered for three years as a pro in the Kings organization before returning to Finland where he has played for Lukko Rauma this season, amassing 5 goals and 13 points in 22 games this year. The 22 year old winger was once touted as an up-and-coming power forward type in the Olli Jokinen mold, but his lack of intensity saw him score just 14 goals and 36 points in 62 games in his career season in the AHL, his rookie professional year in 2005-2006.
Hutchinson's departure removes a one-way contract from the Lightning's ledger. The defenseman has had respectable numbers in the minors, with 1 goal and 14 points in 20 games, but the emergence of prospect Blair Jones as the right-handed triggerman on Norfolk's power play was likely the final straw that made Hutchinson expendable.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have traded forward Wyatt Smith to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for future considerations, Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Lawton announced today.
Smith, a 5-foot-11, 205-pound native of Thief River Falls, Minnesota, had played in 18 games with the Admirals this season, recording three goals and eight points. He is a veteran of 211 NHL games with the Phoenix Coyotes, Nashville Predators, New York Islanders, Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche. Smith has amassed 10 goals and 32 points in those games. He has also played in five career Stanley Cup Playoff games.
The St. Pete Times is reporting that Lightning GM Brian Lawton has indicated that Bolt goaltending prospect Karri Ramo will be recalled prior to Sunday afternoon's game against the New Jersey Devils. Ramo will backup starter Olaf Kolzig while netminder Mike Smith nurses a lower body injury that has been nagging him for a few games.
Along with Ramo, Lawton indicated that either Jamie Heward or Andrew Hutchinson would be recalled to fill in for blueliner Lukas Krajicek, who suffered a lower body injury during the Lightning's 4-1 victory over Nashville Friday night. Both Heward and Hutchinson are right-handed defenseman, and Lawton indicated that was the main reason for the recall of one of these two players. Heward was scratched in today's afternoon Admirals game against Lowell, possibly tipping the hat as to who would be recalled.
In order to make room for Ramo and Heward/Hutchinson, both Gary Roberts and Chris Gratton will be placed on the Injured Reserve list. Roberts is suffering from an upper body injury, while Gratton is out with a minor knee tweak. This move may cue a recall of goaltender Riku Helenius from the Augusta Lynx to back up Norfolk's Mike McKenna.