A clarification on Tampa Bay Lightning roster moves regarding Ryan Craig and Paul Ranger
In order to make roster room for forward Ryan Craig, the Tampa Bay Lightning declared defenseman Paul Ranger, on an indefinite leave of absence to handle a personal matter, a "non-roster player."
The move is allowed under article 16.12(a) of the collective bargaining agreement. The article states that with league approval, teams can get a non-roster exemption for players unable to play for reasons other than injury. The player is still paid, but does not count against the roster. In that sense it is like injured reserve, though that is not technically what it is.
Still no word on whether Craig will play tonight against the Senators, but considering wing Drew Miller played only four minutes Tuesday against the Maple Leafs, and this morning was dropped to the fourth line with center Zenon Konopka and Todd Fedoruk, I'd say there's a pretty good chance Craig gets in the game.
Give Craig credit. How easy would it have been for him to sulk after being demoted during training camp to AHL Norfolk. But as Craig said this afternoon after clearing recall waivers, "For me, I looked at it as a stepping stone to where I wanted to be. Obviously, I wasn't happy with my game. It's still a work in progress, but I think I used it the right way and as motivation."
Craig was one of the Admirals leaders, and was tied for the team lead with seven goals and nine points.
"I just want to play hockey," Craig said. "I can control at least that much and what I can do there, and that's the approach I've taken since this all went down. I'm just excited. I'm excited to be back here and, hopefully, get a chance to play tonight, and we go from there."
Other stuff from the morning skate: Here's a good stat, left wing Ryan Malone is only the eighth player in NHL history and the first since the Flyers' Brian Propp in 1982-83 to have four game-winning goals in his team's first five wins. "You look at the goals he gets, they're usually around the net," coach Rick Tocchet said. "He gets to those areas, and that's why he gets those game-winning goals." ... Defenseman Andrej Meszaros, a minus-7, said he wants to play better, and cited "tightening the gap up" against the opposition. Tocchet said he wants Meszaros to be more engaged. In other words, hit somebody. ... A tweak to the power play that is in a 3-for-31 slump is to put defenseman Mattias Ohlund on the first-team point instead of rookie defenseman Victor Hedman. ... Captain Vinny Lecavalier reiterated making the Canadian Olympic team for the 2010 Games in Vancouver is "very important to me," and hopes his better play Tuesday against the Maple Leafs is something upon which to build. "I was physical and really kept it simple," he said, and added. "I'm always worried ab out Tampa, but it's always in the back of your mind you want to be part of this Olympic team. Even though I struggled a little bit in the first month, I really think if I have a good month of November ... a good month and a half, hopefully, I can be part of the team."