Minor trade coming? Scouting moves
The Lightning apparently is going hard after Flyers minor league defenseman Janne Niskala. Not sure what Tampa Bay is offering, but the player, a restricted free agent, has a pretty good minor league resume. The 26-year-old had 19 goals and 25 assists last season in 80 games for AHL Milwaukee. The good news for Tampa Bay is Niskala already has been given a qualifying offer (from the Predators before he was traded to Philly on June 25), and that offer travels with him to the Lightning. His agent Craig Oster said he didn't have the numbers in front of him but believed it is a two-way contract in the $525,000 range if he plays in the NHL and $70,000 if he is in the minors.
The move, if it's done, would give Tampa Bay at least another option as far as puck-moving defenders. Niskala, 6-feet, 200 pounds, will at least give the Lightning some blue-line depth.
As for the scouting department, the team hired Greg Malone, the father of Ryan Malone, and Tom Kurvers. Both were with the Coyotes last season. Kurvers was director of player personnel, Malone was a pro scout. Their titles with the Lightning are unclear.
Never a dull moment.