Could Costello's roller-coaster end in Tampa Bay?
For forward prospect Jeff Costello, his whirlwind year almost plays out like an answer to a trivia question.
Costello, 23, has been a member of three different NHL organizations in this past year without having signed his first pro contract, nor played his first pro game.
"I've never seen anything like it," agent Daniel Plante said.
"It's been crazy," Costello said.
But Costello's roller-coaster ride could end up with the Lightning, which acquired his rights from Vancouver in June along with defenseman Jason Garrison. Costello, who just finished his four-year career at Notre Dame, thought he was going to sign with the Senators, the team that drafted him in the fifth round 2009. But Ottawa traded him to Vancouver in March, then his rights were shipped to Tampa Bay this summer.
Costello participated in the Lightning's development camp in July, and made a strong impression on the coaching staff, with his team winning the 3-on-3 tournament. While Tampa Bay liked what it saw in the gritty, but skilled, left wing, it didn't offer Costello a contract before the Aug. 15 window expired; the Lightning has just one available contract left.
The Lightning would like Costello to come to training camp in September and get another look at him, potentially giving the 6-foot- 212 forward a spot with AHL Syracuse. While Costello is looking for an NHL deal, and has received some interest from a couple teams, he's open to the possibility of giving Tampa Bay another shot.
"It's definitely been an interesting summer," Costello said. "I had a great time at the development camp, got to put some faces to names. Obviously the organization is doing very well for themselves. And I think they're one of the elite organizations in the NHL, pleased to be part of their organization. Whatever happens, I'll have no problem going back and coming to camp and seeing what happens."
Plante said he's discussed a few scenarios with some other NHL teams, but for now, Costello continues to play the waiting game.
"It'll help me in the fact I learned how the beast works of the NHL and professional sports - things can change on a dime," Costello said. "Things are out of your control. It's definitely frustrating but a good learning experience moving forward."