Player News - Lightning

Date: Team: Pos:

Ryan Malone participated in an informal skate last week in Minnesota.

He's an unrestricted free agent after he was bought out by the Tampa Bay Lightning. The New York Rangers have reportedly spoken with him. Now that Malone's legal issues are behind him, it's likely that he'll sign with another NHL club or attend training camp on a tryout.
Aug 27 - 1:40 PM

Ben Bishop (wrist) hopes to be fully healed by the time the regular season starts.

"The elbow healed up and that's back to 100 percent now. As for the wrist, I started skating in the last couple of weeks and I have a pad under my blocker now just to take away from some of the blow of taking shots off of it," he told NHL.com. "I was down in Tampa with the trainers and equipment guys to figure out a blocker to work with for the next month. I'm starting to take shots and it's getting there. It's not 100 percent yet, but hopefully before the start of the season it'll be close." At this point it looks like he'll be available for training camp, but his role could be limited depending on how his wrist feels.
Source: NHL.com
Aug 26 - 6:17 PM

Vladislav Namestnikov feels he improved as the 2013-14 season progressed.

"The biggest thing I improved is defense," he said. "It's a big part of the pro game. Other part is I got a little stronger and more confident. That was probably the biggest difference." Namestnikov registered 19 goals and 48 points in 56 games with Syracuse of the AHL last year. He didn't pick up a point in four appearances with the Lightning and he's eager to make a positive impression at training camp. He isn't likely to earn a roster spot, but could be one of the first call ups should injuries strike.
Aug 26 - 11:22 AM

Jeff Costello has agreed to a one-year, AHL contract with the Syracuse Crunch.

He recently completed a four-year career at the University of Notre Dame, where he posted 13 goals, 22 points and 73 penalty minutes in 40 games last year. Costello was acquired by Tampa Bay on June 27 as part of a trade with the Vancouver Canucks for Jason Garrison.
Aug 26 - 10:26 AM

Lightning coach Jon Cooper is a strong believer that the 2013-14 campaign wasn't a fluke for number one goaltender Ben Bishop.

"He was arguably the MVP of our team last year. We really leaned on our goaltender heavily," Cooper said. "I truly believe he's coming into his prime. With his work ethic and the way he approached the game as the year went on last year, I'm fully confident he'll be a rock back there for us." Bishop was a steal last season for fantasy owners after he posted 37 wins, a 2.23 goals-against average, a .924 save percentage and five shutouts. If he can stay healthy and Tampa Bay plays as good as they look on paper then Bishop will be in store for another excellent year.
Source: NHL.com
Aug 22 - 5:46 PM

Jeff Costello is open to attending Tampa Bay's training camp if he can't find a deal elsewhere.

The free agent forward has reportedly received some interest from a few teams. Costello was acquired from Vancouver as part of the trade that sent Jason Garrison to Tampa Bay.
Aug 20 - 12:42 PM

Ryan Malone pleaded no contest to DUI charges and agreed to a pretrial diversion program on a drug charge.

That will dismiss his felony charge of cocaine possession if he can successfully complete the program's requirements. His driver's license will be suspended for six months and he must complete 50 hours of community service, as part of DUI punishment. Several teams have reportedly expressed interest in the veteran winger and with his case finished, perhaps he can focus on getting his career back on track.
Aug 19 - 11:05 AM

Ryan Malone was "baffled" when officer Andrew Visser discovered 1.3 grams of cocaine on him and he said he didn't know where it came from.

"I asked where it came from," Visser wrote in his report. "And he said he was just shocked." Malone told Visser he didn't believe the officer planted the drugs on him, but he was stunned to see the cocaine because he'd been wearing the same jeans for three days. It's believed that a plea deal could be finalized as early as his next court date on Aug. 19. Malone was bought out by the Lightning in late June and his agent, Mike Liut, said a couple of teams have expressed interest. "I think he'll land somewhere," Liut said. "It's just a matter of where and when."
Aug 13 - 10:49 AM

Andrei Vasilevskiy was the top-rated goalie among ESPN's rankings of the top 100 drafted prospects.

ESPN's Corey Pronman has very high expectations for the Russian netminder. "I'm not exaggerating when I say this: Vasilevskiy is one of the best goalie prospects of the past 20 years," Pronman wrote. "He's a special player who has excelled if not dominated at just about every level and major event he’s participated in during the past five years, including the KHL playoffs. Vasilevskiy has good size - 6-foot-3, 201 pounds - elite athleticism, and a high hockey IQ and technical refinement you don't typically see in a goalie of his age." Vasilevskiy signed his entry-level deal with the Lightning during the summer and he's slated to start the year in the minors.
Aug 13 - 10:27 AM

ESPN's Corey Pronman ranked Jonathan Drouin as the top drafted prospect among skaters.

Pronman released his top 100 drafted players list and he had this say about Drouin: "His skill level and hockey sense are both off the charts, he's a very elusive skater and he has the ability to create a scoring chance at will. When you combine all of his offensive elements (all of which are high-end), Drouin is the clear best forward prospect outside the NHL." The third overall pick in the 2013 draft is expected to play for the Tampa Bay Lightning this season and he's highly-regarded as an early favorite for the Calder Trophy.
Aug 13 - 10:18 AM

Ben Bishop is on the mend but his surgically-repaired wrist isn't completely healed yet.

"It felt good. Monday, Tuesday and today (Wednesday)," said Bishop last week. "I was a little apprehensive, and the wrist isn't 100 percent yet. But there was no real pain. The training staff, the coaches and I wanted to see how it was coming along. I would say I have to get about the last 10 percent healthy." He said his dislocated elbow was at 99 percent and he's confident that he'll be ready for training camp.
Aug 12 - 10:59 AM

Ryan Malone had a disposition hearing on Monday continued again.

It's believed he is talking about a deal. Malone is facing DUI and cocaine possession charges for an arrest on April 12. The case is expected to be finalized this month. Malone is a free agent after being bought out by the Lightning in late June.
Aug 11 - 10:22 AM

Ben Bishop faced some shots last week for the first time since he underwent wrist surgery in April.

He didn't have any issues and still hopes to be ready for training camp, which is roughly a month away.
Aug 11 - 10:13 AM

Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman said the Lightning had been using advanced stats for a couple years before he arrived in 2010.

Statistical analyst, Michael Peterson, has been with the team for four seasons. His duties include: providing analytical and statistical evaluation for hockey operations, contract valuation, as well as giving recommendations for the draft, free agency and trades. "The whole advanced stats industry in the NHL is still relatively in the infant stages," Yzerman said. "We're all trying to figure out what is relevant and what is not relevant. We're all looking at different ways of making better decisions in trying to figure out what are those, and come up with ideas of our own."
Aug 7 - 10:50 AM

Brian Boyle is expected to replace Nate Thompson, who was traded to the Ducks, on Tampa Bay's fourth line.

The defensive-minded center will also get a position on the club's penalty kill, so he'll basically have the same role he had with the New York Rangers. Boyle will add some size to the Lightning's forward group and he's eager to help them reach the next level.
Aug 5 - 10:35 AM


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