Let tampabaylightning.com become your destination for all the latest Lightning scoops. The Lightning Insider will be in the stands, in the locker room and on the road with the team to provide you with an inside look at the Bolts as they pursue Lord Stanley’s hardware. Our resident snoop will make sure you’re the first to know when the Lightning are making news.
Have a question or comment for The Insider? Send me an email at Insider@tampabaylightning.com
There’s some team news to announce today, as we prepare to face the Devils in Newark tonight. Defenseman Janne Niskala cleared waivers at noon today and will be reassigned. Niskala didn’t make the trip with the team and Lightning GM Brian Lawton said the team will assign Niskala somewhere in Finland, possibly to the Finnish National Team. The team will still be able to recall Niskala at any time before the trade deadline, though he’d need to clear re-entry waivers first.
Lawton also said the team will likely stick with six defensemen for now, with reinforcements easily recalled from Norfolk when needed. Lawton added that right wing Radim Vrbata is almost healthy and could be activated off Injured Reserve any day. Jason Ward and Matt Pettinger will be healthy scratches tonight.
Center Jeff Halpern accompanied the team on the trip and skated during today’s morning skate, which was a good sight to see. Still no precise timetable on his return.
We’re staying in a new spot in New Jersey this trip, and I’m seeing a new part of The Garden State. Maybe I’ve spent too many days in the Sopranos-like urban sprawl of Secaucus and Weehawken, but Short Hills, about 15 minutes West of Newark, seems like a nice place. The trees are displaying their fall colors, which is a nice change for those of us who don’t get to see these parts of New Jersey. There’s also a nice mall across the street from the hotel with a Starbucks, so what else could you ask for?