Denis placed on waivers
The Lightning placed goaltender Marc Denis on waivers this morning, hours after the holiday roster freeze ended.
If Denis clears waivers after a 24-hour period, he will be re-assigned to AHL Norfolk, which will give him the opportunity to play regularly and possibly prompt a new start with another team.
It became likely that the Lightning would make the move last week when it promoted 21-year-old goaltender Karri Ramo and made him its starter. Denis was a healthy scratch in all four games since Ramo's arrival.
If a team claims him on waivers, it would be responsible for the remainder of the $2.8 million salary this year and the entirety of next season's salary, which is also around $2.8 million.
After Denis clears waivers, the Lightning can place Denis on re-entry waivers, at which time an acquiring team would be responsible for just half of his remaining 2007-08 salary and half of next season's salary.
Lightning general manager Jay Feaster, who had exhausted all trade possibilities with no success, was not made available for comment after Friday's practice.
When Feaster brought Denis before the 2006-07 season, acquiring him in a offseason trade with Columbus, the Lightning believed it acquired the goaltending it had been missing since losing Nikolai Khabibulin in free-agency. But Denis was inconsistent last year and eventually lost the starting job to Johan Holmqvist, bottoming out when Denis didn't make the Lightning's first-round playoff active roster.
Denis hoped this year would be different, but Holmqvist won the starting job. And when both goalies struggled, the team promoted Ramo, and at that point something had to budge.
Lightning coach John Tortorella applauded Denis for the way he handled a difficult situation.
"He’s not happy," Tortorella said. "He’s not happy with me. He’s not happy with a number of different things. But he’s never brought that to the workplace and let that affect other people. That’s the most important thing."