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Ritola Declines AHL Assignment, Wants To Play In Europe

from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,

The Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday suspended right wing Mattias Ritola for not reporting to AHL Norfolk, and put him on unconditional waivers for the purposes of terminating his contract. Ritola said he will play in Europe “to get back to the NHL.”

The situation is not contentious. Ritola said he has “nothing bad to say” about his time with the Lightning, and general manager Steve Yzerman said he “understands where (Ritola) is coming from.” If Ritola, who was assigned to Norfolk last week, clears waivers Yzerman will work to terminate Ritola’s contract so he can move on.

“I don’t want to hold him back in his career,” Yzerman said.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mattias+ritola



He got his wish on $125 waivers, which I learned today is actually a thing

Posted by JBM on 11/08/11 at 09:04 PM ET

Primis's avatar

What is with these guys?

If you want to get back to the NHL, you need to do it from the AHL As has been proven time and time again, Europe is not an adequate proving ground for the NHL for someone trying to prove they belong back in the NHL.

Europe is not the NHL farm system, and never will be.

If Ritola goes over, he’s likely never coming back.  If that’s what he actually wants then fine.  But don’t sit there and spew BS about working your way back to the NHL.

Posted by Primis on 11/09/11 at 12:24 AM ET

Russian Rocket's avatar

Posted by Primis on 11/08/11 at 09:24 PM ET

Couldn’t agree with you more.

Posted by Russian Rocket on 11/09/11 at 11:37 AM ET

TheFreak's avatar

Wonder what Garth Snow would have done with Ritola. Or even the GM in Phoenix.

Posted by TheFreak on 11/09/11 at 11:40 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I think in this case it would be more detrimental to a club to try to keep Ritola and bury him.  Even if they suspend him without pay and toll his contract, it’s still there to sit against the 50 contract limit and it’s still there for him to come back to and be paid for.

I’d bet any other GM in the league would have done the same and I think doing it this way puts notice to a lot of GMs about Ritola’s future ability to actually return to the NHL.  Who’s going to want a guy like this who ran back to Europe to play in a league that is not adequately set up to develop NHL-level talent?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/09/11 at 11:59 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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