Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune is reporting that the Tampa Bay Lightning has tendered qualifying offers to restricted free agents Ryan Craig, Justin Fletcher, and Jay Rosehill, thus retaining the club's rights on these players.
Qualifying offers were not tendered to former second round pick Mike Egener, goaltender and former third rounder Jonathan Boutin, Zbynek Hrdel, Marek Kvapil, Ryan Munce, and recently acquired defenseman Mario Scalzo Jr., making them unrestricted free agents. Kvapil and Scalzo, along with Stanislav Lascek, had already signed contracts to play with European teams next season.
The website is also reporting that Lightning prospect Stanislav Lascek, who has spent much of this season with Mississippi of the ECHL, has agreed to play next season for Zvolen in Slovakia. Lascek, who was drafted as an overage player in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, finished second in the QMJHL in scoring in his final year of junior hockey but has been underwhelming in two seasons of professional hockey that have been spent largely in the ECHL.
Milley's departure leaves an opening for a veteran forward to be retained or signed for Norfolk of the AHL next season. Milley leaves the Lightning organization after three seasons which have included 182 games split between Springfield and Norfolk of the AHL and 14 games of NHL service with Tampa Bay during the 2005-2006 season. Milley has scored 63 goals and 154 points in his 182 games of AHL service with the franchise. He will be missed.
It is not completely clear what Lascek's status will be given that he still has a year left on his NHL Entry Level deal. Whether or not the Lightning retain Lascek's rights, it does appear his departure may give the Lightning some relief on the 50-man roster front where potentially difficult signing decisions need to be made for currently contracted prospects Mike Egener and Marek Kvapil and minor league contracted players Adam Henrich and Rob Klinkhammer.
ECHL Update for the Mississippi Sea Wolves from 2/28 through 3/8:
- Wolves go 2-2, with two wins at home against Charlotte and 2 losses on the road in Florida.
- Munce gets a shutout, 1st Star and 2nd Star honors, and gets pulled in his 4th consecutive start.
- Stan Lascek goes nuts in back-to-back games against Charlotte: 1st night gets instigator, fightning, and game misconduct; 2nd night lights the lamp twice and adds an assist.
- Zbynek Hrdel buries a goal in first game back in Mississippi after being reassigned from Norfolk.
After a blazing start to the new year in January, the month of February has been disastrous for Ryan Munce and the Mississippi Sea Wolves. Highlights include:
- Wolves go 1-5 on a six game road trip; Munce goes 1-4 and is pulled twice.
- Wolves are currently 1-4 on a seven game home stand; Munce is 1-3 and has been pulled twice
- Marek Kvapil (3-7-10 in 10gp) and Zbynek Hrdel (1-0-1 in 2gp) recalled to Norfolk during the current home stand
- Mike Egener returned to the lineup and scored a goal and a fighting major
Ryan Munce stopped 26 shots as the Sea Wolves defeated the Columbia Inferno 4-2 Saturday night. Munce was named the game's Third Star capping his 13th win on the season. The Sea Wolves, down 1-0 after the 1st, score three 2nd period goals. Mississippi's top line of Marek Kvapil, Ryan Menai, and Jason Tejchma continues to produce as they started the scoring 3:26 into the 2nd frame.
Ryan Munce stopped 27 shots and Marek Kvapil scored the game winner on a breakaway as the Sea Wolves defeated the Columbia Inferno 2-1 Thursday night. Munce was named the game's First Star while Kvapil earned Third Star honors. It was Munce's 12th win on the season, and it was Kvapil's third goal and fifth point in his first two games back in Mississippi after spending a couple of weeks in Norfolk. Head coach Steffon Walby seems to have found a lethal line combination in Kvapil, rookie and All-Star Ryan Menai, and Jason Tejchma.
The Sea Wolves wasted no time putting the 0-3 road trip to Texas last weekend behind them as they scored 7 straight goals against Pensacola, hanging for an 8-5 victory Tuesday night. Marek Kvapil, fresh off a reassignment from Norfolk, earned Third Star honors as he poured in 2 goals and 2 assists. None of the other Lightning prospects assigned to Mississippi were in the lineup.
Following last Wednesday night's ECHL All-Star game in Stockton, CA, the Mississippi Sea Wolves had the unenviable task of starting the second half of the season with a three-in-three on the road against the ECHL's best team - the Texas Wildcatters. And just like that, all that momentum of a 10-2 January run to the All-Star game vanishes as the Wolves go 0-3 in Beaumont. Ryan Munce gave up 10 goals in two games, bringing the young goalie back to earth after a other-worldly run in 8 games prior to the All-Star event. Brandon Elliott played this weekend for the first time since early December.
Ryan Munce gave up 3 goals against the Everblades Sunday night for the second time in a row, but his offense couldn't bail him out this time. Florida outshot the weary Sea Wolves 46-29 enroute to a 3-1 victory, with Munce stopping 43 of those shots to lose for the first time in 8 games. Munce had beaten the Blades Friday night 4-3 on the first of a three-in-three series with Florida, Texas, and Florida.
Munce also received news Sunday night that he had been snubbed for the ECHL All-Star game scheduled for Wednesday night, January 23 in Stockton, CA. Bloody filthy robbery.