Report: Goaltender Karri Ramo signs with Avangard Omsk
There was no immediate confirmation from the Lightning, but the web site hokej.cz is reporting that Karri Ramo, Tampa Bay's expected backup goaltender, has signed a two-year deal with Avangard Omsk of the Russian Kontinental Hockey League.
If true, it is a serious, though not necessarily a disastrous, blow for the Lightning, which has no other goalie in the organization to trust to a backup position. The next goalie on the depth chart is Riku Helenius, who last season showed promise but that he was not quite ready for the big time. Basically, it means the Lightning will have to pick up a backup in either free agency or through trade.
It is a tough time for Tampa Bay goaltending (as if this organization does not have enough to keep it occupied right now). Mike Smith still is recovering from post-concussion syndrome, and while Smith and the team insist he will be ready for training camp, he still is in the earliest stages of getting himself back into shape.