Jason Ward sent to Norfolk
No surprise that wing Jason Ward on Saturday was sent to AHL Norfolk. He had played just once in 12 games, and with 15 forwards on the roster, wasn't doing anything for anyone sitting on the bench. It also knocks another $675,000 off the salary cap.
Even so, GM Brian Lawton said the rash of moves, that also includes trading defenseman Matt Carle to the Flyers on Friday, is not a way to free space as a prelude to any imminent bigger deal.
"Nothing imminent right now," Lawton said. "Just working away, and we'll continue to see what we've got."
For Ward, the demotion is not something he wanted, necessarily, but at least it gets him back on the ice.
"Obviously, I want to play hockey," Ward said. "I don't want to play in the minors, but if that's where I got to show what I can do, at least I'm playing. It's a tough situation. I want to be playing in the NHL and I'm not getting that opportunity."
In fact, Ward said he did not believe he had a fair opportunity with the Lightning to show what he can do.
"Not really," he said. "Having one game when you haven't played in over a month is not an opportunity. It's kind of like a patch. It's frustrating. It's been a frustrating year for me. I know what I can do. I just got to keep working hard. I'm not done with the NHL."
"Jason has been a true professional," GM Brian Lawton said. "It's just part of the process of making the number of changes that we've done."
Other stuff: Mike Smith gets the start in goal. Olaf Kolzig, who spent the previous 16 seasons with the Capitals, likely will start Monday at Washington. ... Right wing Evgeny Artyukhin will not play against the Flyers because of what is believed a groin strain. Ryan Craig, who sat out last game as a healthy scratch, is back in. ... Lawton said it should not take long before right wing Steve Downie, who came with Steve Eminger in the Carle deal and was assigned to Norfolk, is with the Lightning.