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Lightning Reassign Johan Harju, Mike Vernace to Norfolk

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned forward Johan Harju (har-YOO) and defenseman Mike Vernace to the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League today, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced.  

Harju, 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, has played in four games with the Lightning this season, registering two penalty minutes and three shots on goal while averaging 7:52 in ice time.  He has appeared in 12 games with the Admirals, recording seven goals and 16 points with a plus-2 rating.  He is tied for second on Norfolk in goals, points and assists.

A native of Overtornea, Sweden, Harju played in 55 regular season games with the Moscow Dynamo of the Kontinental Hockey League last season, recording four goals and 18 points.  He played two playoff games with Moscow, recording a goal and eight penalty minutes.

He was selected by the Lightning in the sixth round, 167th overall, of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Vernace, 6-0, 216 pounds, has played in eight games with Tampa Bay this season, averaging 8:33 in ice time per game.  Vernace has played in 20 career NHL games with the Lightning and Colorado Avalanche.  

A native of Toronto, Ontario, Vernace has skated in nine games with the Admirals this season, recording two goals and three points.  He is tied for third on the team among defensemen for goals.

Vernace was signed by the Lightning as a free agent on July 29, 2010.  He was originally drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the seventh round, 201st overall, of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

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