By Ken Peacock
Earlier this afternoon the Lightning placed seven players on waivers. Mike Angelidis, Michel Ouellet, JT Wyman, Alex Picard, Trevor Smith, Richard Petiot, and Mike Vernace will all report to Norfolk if they are not picked up by any other team. Later on this afternoon, Steve Yzerman and the coaching staff were tasked with making more cuts.
Twenty more players were cut, released, and assigned to Norfolk. Goalies – Dustin Tokarski, Jaroslav Janus, and Pat Nagel; Forwards – Carter Ashton, Richard Panik, Alex Hutchings, James Wright, Tyler Johnson, Cory Conacher, Matt Fornataro, Eric Neilson, Gabriel Desjardins, Philip-Michael Devos, Pierre-Cedric Labrie, and Ondrej Palat; Defenseman – Mark Barberio, Radko Gudas, Jeff Dimmen, and Kevin Quick. Defenseman Daniel Milkan, who recently signed a three-year entry-level contract, was released to Moncton of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
So this leaves 26 players left with the Lightning. Tampa Bay will need to cut at least four more players before the beginning of the season. That leaves six players on the bubble fighting for the remaining roster spots. Matias Ritola had a very good games Saturday night and showed the coaching staff why he should remain. Joining him are Brett Connolly, Blair Jones, Tom Pyatt, and Dana Tyrell. With two more pre-season games remaining they will need to put on the performance of a lifetime. Could this be Blair Jones’ time? We will soon find out.