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Tampa Bay Lightning gets 10 national TV games

The NHL released its national television schedule and the Tampa Bay Lightning will be shown 10 times -- seven times on NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus) and three times on NHL Network:

Here are the schedules (pending, of course, what hapens with the CBA):

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Lightning G prospect Jaroslav Janus signs tryout contract with KHL's HC Slovan

Lightning goaltending prospect Jaroslav Janus has signed a tryout contract with HC Slovan, a KHL team based in Bratislava, Slovakia. The move was reported last week on the team's web site. The Lightning confirmed the contract on Monday.

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Former Lightning D Paul Ranger signs 1-year deal with Marlies

Paul Ranger is giving professional hockey another try.

The former Lightning defenseman, who in October 2009, abruptly left the team to deal with an undisclosed personal issue, has signed a one-year deal with The Toronto Marlies, the AHL affiliate of the NHL Maple Leafs.

"I'm happy for Paul. I'm excited for Paul," said junior Ontario Hockey League commissioner Dave Branch, who coached a bantam team with Ranger last season in Ranger's hometown of Whitby, Ontario. "I hope it can turn out to be a positive and he can return and play and enjoy the experience."

Ranger, 27, left the Lightning without a public explanation eight games into the 2009-10 season. That after consecutive summers in which he had difficult rehabs from major surgeries on each shoulder.

Ranger's agent, Joe Resnick, declined to comment on what prompted his client to leave the game or return. But Branch said it might have been the enjoyment Ranger had while helping coach the 14- and 15-year olds in Whitby to the Ontario Minor Hockey Association championship.

"The minor hockey experience, the youth hockey experience just seemed to reignite his passion and appreciation for the game," Branch said. …

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Former Lightning D Paul Ranger apparently signs with AHL Toronto

The Toronto Marlies, the AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs, apparently have signed former Lightning defenseman Paul Ranger.

There has not been an official announcement, though someone in the Marlies' office who declined to give his name, confirmed the signing.

Ranger, 27, who in October 2009 left Tampa Bay after six games to deal with an undisclosed personal issue, became an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

The Lightning's 2002 sixth-round draft pick had a goal and two points and was minus-2 in six games of the 2009-10 season before leaving the team. That, after having rehabbed major surgeries to both shoulders the previous two summers.

-- DAMIAN CRISTODERO, Times Staff Writer

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Breaking a team moratorium, Tampa Bay Lightning D Matt Carle will wear No. 25 next season

Here is something sure to rile up some Tampa Bay Lightning fans. Newly acquired defenseman Matt Carle will wear No. 25 next season. It will be the first time a player has worn that number since then-captain Dave Andreychuk retired after the 2005-06 season.

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12:30: Chat live with Tom Jones

Want to talk Rays, Bucs, Lightning, college football? Join Times sports personality Tom Jones for a live chat today, from 12:30-1:30 p.m.

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Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos on the CBA negotiations: "We just want a fair deal"

For Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos, the negotiations between the Players' Association and the league on a new collective bargaining agreement can be boiled down to this: the players, he said, "just want a fair deal."

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Gary Bettman's lockout threat "something you don't want to hear," Lightning's B.J. Crombeen says

Commissioner Gary Bettman’s declaration Thursday that the NHL will lock out its players on Sept. 15 without a new collective bargaining agreement is “something you don’t want to hear,” Lightning right wing B.J. Crombeen said.

Even so, he added, “We’re confident there’s still a lot of time left to get a deal done.”

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For Tampa Bay Lightning wing B.J. Crombeen, CBA negotiations are a learning experience

With negotiations between the NHL and the Players' Association for a new collective bargaining agreement set to resume today in New York, one of the most interested parties will be Tampa Bay Lightning right wing B.J. Crombeen, who is part of the union's negotiating committee and, perhaps not coincidentally, is taking on-line business courses with the University of Phoenix. He said he is about to graduate.

Crombeen, 27, who last season was the Blues' player representative to the union, said the courses will help give him career options after he finishes playing. The negotiations, he said, are like extra-credit classes: "It's totally new to me but it's a pretty neat opportunity to be part of and sit in with some very smart people and be able to learn from them."

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Tampa Bay Lightning goalie prospect Jaroslav Janus apparently will play 2012-13 in Europe

The solution to the Lightning’s glut of AHL goaltending prospects is to allow Jaroslav Janus to play in Europe.

Assistant general manager Julien BriseBois said Thursday that the team and Janus “mutually agreed the best thing … is for him to play as many games as possible next year. We told the agent we would help any way we could to help achieve that. I think they’re looking in Europe.”

Janus has yet to sign a European contract, BriseBois said. Janus’ agent could not immediately be reached for comment.

Janus, 22, was 23-8-2 with a 2.36 goals-against average and .914 save percentage in 34 games last season for AHL Norfolk. But with Dustin Tokarksi and Riku Helenius also expected next season to vie for playing time with the organization’s new AHL affiliate in Syracuse, N.Y., there won’t be enough games to go around for the still-developing players.

Janus, a 2009 sixth-round draft pick, also is unsigned, though as a restricted free agent Tampa Bay retains his rights.

"We get to follow him for a year and reevaluate where everyone stands a year from now,” BriseBois said and added the team is not writing Janus off. …

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Tampa Bay Lightning goalie prospect Jaroslav Janus apparently will play 2012-13 in Europe

The solution to the Lightning’s glut of AHL goaltending prospects is to allow Jaroslav Janus to play in Europe.

Assistant general manager Julien BriseBois said Thursday that the team and Janus “mutually agreed the best thing … is for him to play as many games as possible next year. We told the agent we would help any way we could to help achieve that. I think they’re looking in Europe.”

Janus has yet to sign a European contract, BriseBois said. Janus’ agent could not immediately be reached for comment.

Janus, 22, was 23-8-2 with a 2.36 goals-against average and .914 save percentage in 34 games last season for AHL Norfolk. But with Dustin Tokarksi and Riku Helenius also expected next season to vie for playing time with the organization’s new AHL affiliate in Syracuse, N.Y., there won’t be enough games to go around for the still-developing players.

Janus, a 2009 sixth-round draft pick, also is unsigned, though as a restricted free agent Tampa Bay retains his rights.

"We get to follow him for a year and reevaluate where everyone stands a year from now,” BriseBois said and added the team is not writing Janus off. …

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Tampa Bay FM station converts to sports radio format

Tampa Bay’s newest sports radio station, 98.7 The Fan, will debut at noon today, offering area fans a chance to rant, vent and debate about local teams on an FM station.

Owned and operated by CBS Radio, the station will have talk shows led by local personalities, from former Buccaneer lineman Booger McFarland and Lightning forward Chris Dingman, to long-time Tampa Bay Times columnist Gary Shelton.

Read the full story here.

-- JOE SMITH, Times Staff Writer

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