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Lightning Sign Two

According to the CTV Sportsnet Free Agent Tracker, the Lightning have signed Swedish center Andreas Karlsson and former Columbus Blue Jacket defenseman Andy Delmore. A Lightning press release stated both are expected to compete for spots on the NHL club. Karlsson, a 6-4 two-way forward, played last season with HV 71 in Sweden. The 30 year-old former Thrasher scored 26-29-55 and was a +18 in 50 games with the club. Delmore, a 29 year-old backliner, had 72 points in 66 games for Syracuse of the AHL last season. He played in seven games with the Blue Jackets, going scoreless. Delmore began last season as a Detroit Red Wing after signing a free agent contract, but was waived before the season started. Delmore actually signed with EHC Basel of the Swiss National League in May before agreeing to terms with the Lightning.

Alexeev Returning?

Tampa GM Jay Feaster stated on WDAE radio in Tampa today that there is a very strong possibility disgruntled Russian winger Nikita Alexeev will return to the Lightning for 2006-2007. Alexeev cannot be signed until July 1. Feaster was very optimistic a deal could be done with Alexeev. Feaster again hinted at the club using free agency to address their blueline needs. Stay tuned.

At Long Last, Lightning Acquire No.1 Goaltender

After weeks and months of waiting, the Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired a No.1 goaltender. TSN is reporting Tampa Bay GM Jay Feaster sent left winger and alternate captain Fredrik Modin and recently signed goaltender Fredrik Norrena to Columbus for goaltender Marc Denis. While the Lightning gave up a significant amount to acquire Denis, the importance of the goaltending position was made crystal clear last season as co-No.1's John Grahame and Sean Burke struggled as the defending champion Lightning snuck into the playoffs as an eighth seed after Nikolai Khabibulin left for Chicago. More analysis to follow.

No Lightning Prospects Selected in CHL Import Draft

The CHL Import Draft [url=http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/events/pop.php?id=225]was held on Wednesday[/url] and in the end neither [url=denis-kazionov]Denis Kazionov[/url] nor [url=riku-helenius]Riku Helenius[/url] were selected by teams from the QMJHL, OHL and WHL. The outcome is not terribly surprising considering Helenius' military commitments but there was a slight chance that Kazionov might be selected and convinced to come over. Instead, the Lightning will have to wait until next year to see the Tver winger make his North American debut.

2006 Draft Review

Boltprospects was recently able to catch up with Lightning Head Scout Jake Goertzen to get his thoughts on the Lightning’s 2006 draftees. In addition to providing comments on each player, Mr. Goertzen was kind enough to provide some insight into the immediate future of the 2006 class. The Bolts took towering goaltender Riku Helenius in the first round at No.15. Speaking on behalf of the team, Goertzen states that the Finnish goaltender is “a very competitive kid and has all the qualities that we look for in a goaltender.” There has been some confusion as to where Helenius will play next year, be it in Finnish Juniors, the Finnish SM-Liiga, or the Canadian Hockey League if taken in Wednesday’s Import Draft. According to Goertzen, Helenius will spend the upcoming season in Finland, pending any new information the club may receive. Because Bruin’s prospect Tuuka Rask is the No.1 with Ilves’ top squad, this may mean Helenius is again relegated to junior league duty, possibly causing a stall in his development. A sure way to control his development is to sign him early, however Goertzen states that is not an immediate option.
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