Tampa Bay Lightning
NHL.com is reporting the Florida Panthers organization has cancelled their annual prospects tournament due to uncertainty over the collective bargaining agreement. The Lightning's future stars were set to participate in the tournament along with Carolina and Boston's prospects. Last week the Detroit Red Wings similarly cancelled their annual prospect tournament held in Traverse City.
Brett Connolly, you may have noticed, has been a polarizing figure for some time now. From the day he was drafted, really, as his gum-chewing and detached demeanor during an interview rubbed some the wrong way. Subsequent appearances have not helped much to alleviate the general perception of Connolly as cold and aloof, the antithesis to the ebullient Steven Stamkos. Perhaps, too, the early returns Anaheim and Carolina have received from Cam Fowler and Jeff Skinner may have had some fans wondering if Yzerman chose the wrong kid in 2010. However, a lackluster personality and not developing as quickly as others can easily be forgiven.
That Connolly's immediate future within the Lightning organization has come into question, though, is mostly a result of his roller-coaster of a rookie season during which he seemed to spend more time plummeting than climbing. The late-season signings and professional debuts of J.T. Brown and Alex Killorn as well as AHL MVP Cory Conacher earning a contract are significant factors too, but the discussion truly begins and ends with Connolly's own performance, of which opinions seem to range from entirely disastrous to, at best, disappointing. The prescriptions vary, too, from calls to bury Connolly in Syracuse for at least a season, starting him there with the expectation he'll earn a call-up, having him battle for an available roster spot in training camp and even reserving one for him so as to avoid crushing his confidence.
TAMPA BAY â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired right wing B.J. Crombeen and a fifth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for both their 2013 and 2014 fourth-round picks, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today.
Crombeen, 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, has played in 288 career NHL games with the Blues and Dallas Stars, registering 27 goals and 56 points with 580 penalty minutes. He has logged more than 148 penalty minutes in three of the previous four seasons. The only one in which he did not reach that mark was last season, when he recorded 71 PIM in 40 games played. During the 2010-11 season he led the Blues in penalty minutes with 154 and was tied for sixth in the NHL with 17 fighting majors.
TAMPA BAY â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed right wing Ted Purcell to a three-year contract extension, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today. The contract runs from 2013-14 to 2015-16.
Purcell, 26, skated in 81 games last season with the Lightning, recording 24 goals and 65 points to go along with 16 penalty minutes. He set career highs in goals, assists (41), points, power-play goals (eight), game-winning goals (three) and plus/minus (+9). The 6-foot-2, 201-pound forward ranked first on the Bolts for plus/minus, second for assists, and third for goals and points. Purcell registered a Lightning season-high and career-best, 11-game point streak from February 21 through March 8, tallying seven goals and 11 assists during the stretch. He also represented Canada at the IIHF World Championships, registering a goal and two points in eight games.
TAMPA BAY â€“ The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed free agent defenseman Matt Carle to a six-year contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced. Carle was also acquired by the Lightning in a trade with San Jose exactly four years ago today.
Carle, 6-foot, 205 pounds, has played in 471 career NHL games with San Jose, Tampa Bay and the Philadelphia Flyers. He has amassed 32 goals, 202 points and 17 power-play goals with a plus-55 rating. Carle has played in 80 games or more in each of the previous three seasons, including all 82 the previous two. He has played in 84 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, recording five goals and 35 points. Carle has played in 45 playoff games during the previous three seasons, all with the Flyers. He was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team during the 2006-07 season while with San Jose after a season in which he registered 11 goals and 42 points.