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Cristodero: The Real Showdown Is On Defense

In today's St. Pete Times, Damian Cristodero [url=http://www.sptimes.com/2005/09/26/Lightning/Defensemen_in_fight_f.shtml]writes Evgeny Artyukhin's place on the Lightning's roster is short lived[/url] and that the final battle is a showdown between Andy Rogers and Timo Helbling for the final defenseman spot in Tampa. Crisdotero goes on to mention Rogers' need for a contract if he is to be retained in Tampa.

Not So Fast

After making nine cuts after last nights exhibition game against the Buffalo Sabres, GM Jay Feaster [url=http://bolts.tbo.com/lightning/MGBX1LW62EE.html]reiterates that the Lightning will only carry 20 players on its opening night roster.[/url] The statement comes a day after Head Coach John Tortorella teased the team may carry an extra defenseman and, thus, 21 players into the regular season. Make up your mind guys.

Lightning CHL Stats as of September 26

The following are the official statistics for Lightning prospects playing within the Canadian Hockey League. Leading all prospects – for any team – is Stanislav Lascek with nine points in four games. Lascek finished seventh in scoring in the “Q” last season. Stats as of Monday, September 26:

Smolenak, Lawrence score in OHL action Sunday

Lightning 2005 third round pick Radek Smolenak, trying to build on his 32-goals last season, notched his first goal of the year Sunday in a 5-3 Kingston win over Mississauga. Smolenak scored the game’s first goal, 2:20 into the first period and finished plus-one in the game. In all, four Lightning prospects played on Sunday. In other action, the Lightning’s second third round pick in the 2005 draft, Chris Lawrence, scored his first this year as Sault Ste. Marie beat Erie 4-1. Lawrence, who had 11 goals and 40 assists last year, also registered a plus-one rating.

Lightning Cut Nine More Players

Tampabaylightning.com is reporting that the Lightning [url=http://www.tampabaylightning.com/prdetail.cfm?category=3&pressreleaseID=1161]have cut nine more players from their roster.[/url] All nine have been assigned to Springfield of the AHL whose training camp begins tomorrow. The nine players are: C/LW Ryan Craig C/W Andre Deveaux G Brian Eklund LW Mitch Fritz C Jason Jaspers RW Marek Kvapil D Doug O'Brien D Todd Rohloff C Nick Tarnasky
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