Player News - Lightning

Date: Team: Pos:

Center Cedric Paquette increased his chances of cracking the Tampa Bay roster by picking up a goal and an assist in the Tampa Bay Lightning's 5-1 rout of the Stars in an exhibition game in Dallas Tuesday night.

Ditto for right winger Brett Connolly, who also had a goal and an assist for the Tampa Bay. Richard Panik, Nikita Kucherov and J.T. Brown notched the other goals for the winners. Vladislav Namestnikov contributed two assists. Jamie Benn was the only scorer for the Stars. Between the pipes, Anders Lindback had a tough night against his old Lightning teammates, making 28 saves on the 33 shots he faced. Ben Bishop looked good for Tampa Bay, blocking 20 shots.
Sep 30 - 11:18 PM

Cedric Paquette is on the bubble to start the year with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

However, assistant coach Steve Thomas likes what Paquette brings to the table. "I love his grit, his determination, playing with a little snot on his sleeve so to speak," Thomas said. "Our team is much better when we have a little bit more grit and when you play with grit like he does that makes us a harder team to play against." Paquette played with the Bolts at the end of the regular season last year and in the playoffs.
Sep 30 - 5:57 PM

Jonathan Drouin (thumb) was on the ice Tuesday at practice in a no-contact jersey.

He's hopeful that he'll be ready to play when the Lightning open the regular season on Oct. 9 versus Florida. "I'm feeling better," Drouin said. "There's still a little bit of pain, but we're going in the right direction. A couple weeks left and I'm sure I'll be fine by then. Progress has been really good."
Sep 30 - 5:49 PM

Brenden Morrow was back on the ice Tuesday after he missed most of Monday's session due to back spasms.

Coach Jon Cooper said Monday that he didn't believe the issue was anything serious. "It happens to everybody at some point during the year," Cooper said. "I saw him holding a cup of coffee in the morning and all was good and all of a sudden something tightened up. He's all right."
Sep 30 - 11:33 AM

Michael Blunden and five other players cleared waivers on Sunday and they will assigned to AHL Syracuse.

Mike Angelidis, Phillipe Paradis and Jerome Samson, as well as defensemen J.P. Cote and Matt Corrente have been cut from Tampa Bay's training camp roster.
Sep 29 - 10:21 AM

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik told the Tampa Tribune that he wants Steven Stamkos to be a member of the Lightning for his entire career.

Stamkos’ contract expires at the end of the 2015-16 season, and Vinik is willing to spend the money needed to keep their star center in Tampa for the long haul. "I’ll tell Steven loud and proud that I hope you are with us for your whole career and lead us to Stanley Cups," said Vinik. "I will let Steve Yzerman handle (the negotiations)." Stamkos’ future extension will likely be worth more than 10 million dollars annually.
Sep 28 - 8:44 AM

The Tampa Bay Lightning sent first-rounder Anthony DeAngelo back to the junior level on Saturday.

Fellow notable prospect Adam Erne was also sent back to that level while Peter Mannino was released. The following players were waived: Mike Angelidis, Mike Blunden, Matt Corrente, J.P. Cote, Philippe Paradis and Jerome Samson.
Sep 27 - 4:44 PM

Tampa GM Steve Yzerman indicated that Jonathan Drouin will join the Tampa roster once he recovers from a broken thumb.

Drouin will apparently make the team and his play will dictate how long he stays in the NHL according to Yzerman, who considers the thumb injury a minor setback. "We're going to put him in the lineup," said Yzerman. "How he plays determines his role." For those of you who were ready to dump Drouin we suggest you reverse engines for now.
Sep 27 - 11:23 AM

Nikita Kucherov has made a very good impression on the Tampa coaching staff in three exhibition games thus far.

He is the only Lightning player to play in all of the team's three preseason contests and has looked good doing it. In Friday's 6-3 win over Dallas, Kucherov played on the top lone alongside Steve Stamkos and Ryan Callahan and skated on the Bolts' top power-play unit, scoring a goal. Tampa coach Jon Cooper wants to get a good look at Kucherov while Jonathan Drouin recovers from injury to see where the 21-year-old fits in. Thus far assistant coach George Gwozdecky has been impressed. "I think he's made another step in his progress from last year to now,’" Gwozdecky said. "Certainly there is a little bit more of an awareness of how he needs to play to be effective, not only offensively, but defensively. He's a very explosive player and one of these guys that finds seams and finds holes. He’s a very crafty player." Keep any eye on Kucherov over the next two weeks.
Sep 27 - 11:13 AM

Steve Stamkos made his preseason debut Friday night in a 6-3 win over Dallas.

Stamkos registered an assist in the contest and was happy with how his right leg felt throughout the game. "In practices and scrimmages, the skating is an asset of mine and I thought I was kind of a step (slow) last year even when I did come back [from a broken right leg]," said Stamkos. "I'm feeling good, feeling confident and mentally I'm in a much better state as well." That's a scary thought for Tampa opponents this upcoming season. We expect Stamkos to return to his 50-goal, 90-plus point level of production this campaign.
Sep 27 - 11:06 AM

Ben Bishop took a very solid first step in proving that he has recovered from a wrist injury that required offseason surgery.

He made his first preseason appearance starting and playing 29:50 against Dallas Friday night stopping 11 of 13 shots and suffered no ill effects. "It felt pretty good, really no issues," Bishop said. "I used the stick a little more than I thought I was going to. I was happy with the way everything felt." This is good news for Bishop owners.
Sep 27 - 10:57 AM

Anton Stralman had a strong overall game on Friday as Tampa Bay cruised to a 6-3 win over the Dallas Stars.

Stralman opened the scoring eight minutes into the first period and then scored Tampa Bay's third goal early in the second. He also logged 21:45 of ice time, had a game high plus/minus rating of +4 and lead the team with five shots.
Sep 26 - 10:24 PM

Brian Boyle is eager to get some work in the preseason with Tampa Bay.

"I'm excited to play in an exhibition game so hopefully I can make a couple of mistakes and learn from the standpoint of the coaches and the way we go about trying to put it into play," Boyle said. "It's going to be a work in progress, but as far as getting into an exhibition game, I'm not as concerned about when because I played a lot of games last year, so I want to be 100 percent ready." Boyle inked a three-year deal with the Lightning in the summer after playing the last five seasons of his career with the New York Rangers. He's expected to be in the lineup for Friday's exhibition match against Dallas.
Sep 26 - 9:51 AM

Jonathan Drouin (thumb) was on the ice for Thursday's practice, but he did not participate in on-ice drills.

He was there to observe as the coaching staff spent the first 15 minutes of the session going over system work. "Unless you are out there going through it and watching what is going on, you (don't) pick it up, really," he explained. "So, we want to make sure that I’m fine with that. Being on there today was good, and I don’t want to be behind when everything starts." Drouin left the ice once that work was done and he did some light stick work. He was relieved to hear Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman indicate that the injury will have little to no bearing on where Drouin starts the season. That should allow him to focus on getting healthy and not trying to rush himself back into the lineup.
Sep 26 - 9:47 AM

Michael Blunden (personal) is still away from the Lightning.

He left the team on Sunday because his wife was expecting their first child. Blunden signed a two-way deal with Tampa Bay in July and he's probably ticketed for the minors for the upcoming season.
Sep 24 - 8:38 AM

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