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Entries with the tag: training camp
In the latest episode of The Bolts Beat, JJ and co-host Mike Corcoran cover the Lightning’s recent preseason road trip, roster moves made thereafter, NHL discipline issues (including the recent Nick Boynton/Blair Jones incident), predictions for how Tampa Bay’s final roster may end up, fantasy hockey strategy and Jon (of course) continues his New York Jets elation, much to the dismay of Mike and fellow contributor, Tampa Bay Lightning.com’s Mark Pukalo.
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With 21 cuts announced on Sunday, the Tampa Bay Lightning are left with 28 players in training camp. While nothing is certain, it appears there are six players vying for three roster spots at forward and three in the mix for the seventh and eighth slots on the defensive depth chart, with goaltender Cedrick Desjardins remaining with the big club, while Mike Smith recovers from an injury to his right ring finger.
Barring anything drastic, which would be a major surprise at this point, it looks like ten forwards can be penciled in to remain with the Bolts come opening night. In that group, I have Sean Bergenheim, Steve Downie, Simon Gagne, Vincent Lecavalier, Ryan Malone, Dominic Moore, Teddy Purcell, Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos and Nate Thompson. On defense, six men appear to have a spot on the Lightning blueline out of the gate: Brett Clark, Victor Hedman, Randy Jones, Pavel Kubina, Mike Lundin and Mattias Ohlund.
Before a single tweak to the roster, the Tampa Bay Lightning were already poised for improvement in 2010-11. With the tumultuous era of previous ownership already behind them when the sale of the team to Jeff Vinik was completed late last season, gone in an instant were any and all off-ice concerns and the circus went back to being an annual visitor to the St. Pete Times Forum rather than a permanent resident. With the appointment of Steve Yzerman as general manager, credibility returned to the franchise and new head coach Guy Boucher was widely regarded as the hottest commodity on the off-season coaching market.
Without a solitary player move, hockey life in Tampa was good again.
But far be it from Yzerman to rest on the comfort that fans surely feel by him simply not being one of those other guys. The addition of former Flyers forward Simon Gagne headlines a list of shrewd off-season maneuvers for the rookie GM and the revamped roster could very well translate to the sort of on-ice success that will make Lightning followers quickly forgot about three non-playoff seasons gone by.
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No surprises here, although interesting to note that Louis Leblanc and Jarred Tinordi are still in camp (see the press release below).
Reports so far have been that Ian Schultz has looked quite good in camp, although it would take a lot for him to threaten a veteran’s roster spot. No big noise yet from Ben Maxwell or any of the other seasoned Bulldogs pushing for a role on the Habs.