According to numerous published reports it appears the Lightning will be cutting 7 players from their roster after Saturday's preseason game against the Caps. Here's my initial thoughts on the seven who will go (subject to change based on performance in the Washington game, of course):
The Tampa Bay Lightning, parent club of the Norfolk Admirals, have re-signed right wing Norm Milley to a one-year contract, Lightning Executive Vice President and General Manager Jay Feaster announced on Tuesday.
Milley, a 6-foot, 195-pound native of Toronto, Ontario, served as team captain for the Springfield Falcons, the former American Hockey League affiliate of the Lightning, last season. The 27-year-old notched 26 goals and added 34 assists for 60 points in 73 games with the Falcons in 2006-07. He was tied for the Springfield lead with ten power play goals and finished second in scoring, goals and assists.
I'll say it again: the Lightning need to make sure to take David Spina with them to Norfolk.
Jonathan Boutin allowed 3 goals on 14 shots before being pulled for Kevin Beech who allowed 3 on 33 shots to take the backdoor loss. David Spina and Norm Milley each had 2 goals in the game. Veterans Kyle Wanvig, Daniel Corso and Eric Healey each had 2 assists. Jacob Micflikier and Nick Kuiper added individual helpers.
Spina now has 15 goals and 35 points in 71 games this season. Over the last 11 games Spina has 7 goals and 13 points including 4 multi-point games. This comes at a time when Steve Stirling has chastized some of his players for simply going through the motions down the stretch of an otherwise lost season. Spina has now spent over 1-1/2 years playing in the Lightning's system in Springfield after being signed as an ATO midway through last season. His speed and his character have made him the rare success story among minor league players adjusting to the Lightning's style of play. Tampa has invested too much time in developing Spina not to take him to Norfolk.
SPR Milley, (25) (Corso, Healey), 5:00
MCH Kanko, (10) (Ryan, Giuliano), 5:20
MCH Harrold, (7) (Clarke, Murray), 8:21 (PP)
MCH Jackman, (18) (Schmidt), 16:28
SPR Spina, (14) (Wanvig, Micflikier), 19:24
SPR Milley, (26) (Healey, Corso), 2:35 (PP)
MCH Jackman, (19) (Murray, Clarke), 6:07 (PP)
MCH Likens, (2) (Murray, Westgarth), 15:34
MCH Likens, (3) (Ryan, Lewis), 10:53
SPR Spina, (15) (Kuiper, Wanvig), 15:58
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.
Choosing this month's award winner was admittedly the most difficult of the season. A handful of prospects had good months, but none stepped up and seized the award by the throat leaving Bolt Prospects to have to spend some time thinking over the selection. In Springfield, Eric Healey paced the Falcons offensively (12 GP, 4-9-13, 2 PIM, -4) while Norm Milley played several inspired games (12 GP, 4-4-8, 14 PIM, -9). However, given Springfield's difficulty in winning hockey games we were hard pressed to give the award to a Falcon. For similar reasons, Chris Lawrence (9 GP, 6-4-10, 10 PIM, +2 and 4 GP, 3-0-3, 8 PIM, -6 in the playoffs) was eliminated from contention after his Mississauga Ice Dogs were unceremoniously upset in the first round of the OHL playoffs. So, this months winner was narrowed down to...
One thing I won't miss in Norfolk: getting annihilated for what seems like two dozen games a year by Providence.
Jonathan Boutin, whose save percentage is sinking faster than a submarine with a screen door, allowed 4 goals on 22 shots for the loss before being pulled for Kevin Beech who allowed 1 goal on 9 shots. Eric Healey and ATO signee Jacob Micflikier had the Falcons goals. Jay Rosehill and Norm Milley added assists.
PRO Walter, (23) (Trevelyan, Bentivoglio), 13:21
PRO Walter, (24) (Krejci, Pelletier), 16:37 (PP)
PRO Krejci, (28) (Glenn, Trevelyan), 17:05 (PP)
SPR Healey, (27) (Rosehill, Milley), 14:15
PRO Bentivoglio, (2) (Trevelyan, Walter), 18:20 (PP)
SPR Micflikier, (1) , 11:21
PRO Trevelyan, (23) (Glenn), 17:44 (PP)
Game sheet from TheAHL.com.