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With Simon Gagne on IR, Tampa Bay Lightning calls up Blair Jones from AHL Norfolk



With up to five players possibly out of Wednesday's game with the Penguins -- and with left wing Simon Gagne on injured reserve -- the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday called up center Blair Jones from AHL Norfolk. The moves keep Tampa Bay at the 23-player roster limit.

Gagne's designation is retroactive to Oct. 21, when he was hurt by a check into the side boards by the Islanders Michael Grabner. Players must be on IR for at least seven days, meaning Gagne is eligible to come off on Friday, Oct. 29. That does not mean he will, and coach Guy Boucher on Tuesday made it sound as if whomever the team called up would be with it on the upcoming four-game road trip out West.

Boucher did not sound confident talking about his walking wounded. Though defensemen Brett Clark (wrist), Mattias Ohlund (knee) and Matt Smaby (stomach virus) practiced on Tuesday, center Dominic Moore (groin) and Gagne did not. 

Boucher was asked about each, and did not indicate that any would see action, though Moore and Gagne seemed the most serious. We'll see on Wednesday who gets the call.

Jones got off to a hot start with the Admirals with four goals and 10 points in seven games. That after a superb training camp that indicated Jones might finally be maturing into an NHL player.

And FYI, Mike Smith gets the start in goal Wednesday against Pittsburgh.

Here is the announcement from the team about Jones:

The Tampa Bay Lightning have recalled forward Blair Jones from the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League, Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Jones, 6-foot-2, 216 pounds, has gotten off to a hot start with the Admirals this season, recording four goals and 10 points with a plus-3 rating in seven games.  He is tied for the team lead for goals, is second for points and tied for third in assists.  Jones played in 63 games with the Admirals last season, notching nine goals 30 points.  He also represented Norfolk in the AHL All-Star Game and won the Reebok Hardest Shot Competition (100.7 mph).

A native of Central Butte, Saskatchewan, Jones has played in 38 career NHL games, all with the Lightning.  He has registered one goal and three points with 12 penalty minutes during his career.  Last season Jones played in 14 games with the Lightning, recording 10 penalty minutes and averaging a career-best 12:50 in average ice time.

Jones was drafted by Tampa Bay in the fourth round, 102nd overall, of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

[Last modified: Thursday, November 25, 2010 12:15am]


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