Get the call from the agent.
Race to the airport.
Hop a bus, a cab, whatever - itâ€™s the chaos of being a professional athlete.
Suit up, meet the new coach, absorb the playbook, and connect with new linemates.
Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Carter Ashton, the No.2 prospect in the organization according to Bolt Prospects, recently experienced the rush after his call-up to the organizationâ€™s AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, this month.
Ashton, 18, knew the phone could ring at any moment and was relatively calm.
Clear the pucks after practice.
Clean the team bus, without volunteering.
No inimical stares - just good olâ€™ work habits prescribed by his teammates.
Itâ€™s all part of being a rookie for Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Mitch Fadden, shifting from youth to maturity with the clubâ€™s farm affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals.
Howâ€™s the forwardâ€™s first taste of the professional ranks?
Forget the airy questions about mirroring NHL superstars, or making casual comparisons - Norfolk Admirals forward Dana Tyrell follows his own compass.
However, the Tampa Bay Lightning prospect questioned himself and his future after a right knee injury sidelined him for six months last year.
Tyrell was on a fast track to success, earning a spot on Team Canada while leading the Prince George Cougars squad in scoring, piling up 19 goals and 21 assists in 30 games.
Then, his world would drastically change in the ensuing months.
It's roughly the midpoint of the NHL season, and with the graduations of prospects James Wright and Victor Hedman, and the conclusion of the U20 World Junior Championships, it's time for Bolt Prospects to release its 2009-2010 Midterm Rankings. The Midterm Rankings reflect a significant amount of change for the club, as it has been a year where the team's prospects haven't stuck to the script. Some players have failed to live up to expectations. Other have come out of nowhere to raise their stock. The end result is one of the widest shifts in rankings we've ever had.
Just call him â€œThe Eraser.â€
Already known for his grit and forechecking abilities, Blair Jones has taken his two-way game to another level this year. And Lightning coaches are taking it even further.
In Saturday nightâ€™s key Southeast Division clash against the Atlanta Thrashers, Jones, who earlier this month was still playing in AHL Norfolk, got the tap on the shoulder to help kill a first period penalty. It was his first significant action shorthanded this season, and to make matters more intimidating, he was lined up opposite Thrashers superstar Ilya Kovalchuk, who entered the game among NHL goal leaders with 21 and the leagueâ€™s fifth-best shooting percentage
â€œWhatever the coaches ask me to do Iâ€™m going to do it,â€ Jones said. â€œItâ€™s not the most glorifying job to stand in front of one of the hardest shots in the league, but whatever keeps me out on the ice.â€