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Tampa Bay Lightning sends down disappointing Lukas Krajick

ST. LOUIS — A day after Lukas Krajicek's defensive-zone turnover led to a goal in Thursday's 3-0 loss at Detroit, the defenseman was shipped to AHL Norfolk.

Officially, an accumulation of factors cost Krajicek. He had one assist in 23 games and was minus-4 in his past two. And his turnover against the Red Wings led to Todd Bertuzzi's third-period goal that made the score 2-0.

"The thing is, when you're not scoring goals, you can't be at the scene of the crime too many times," coach Rick Tocchet said Friday. "When you're not producing, you can't have your fingerprints at the scene of the crime."

Acquired in October 2008 from the Canucks for Shane O'Brien, Krajicek, 26, signed a one-year, $1.475 million contract during the summer. He still gets the guaranteed money, but it is no longer included in the team's salary cap.

Is this a prelude to Krajicek being on recall waivers? The defenseman said Dec. 12, when he cleared waivers, that GM Brian Lawton mentioned at least one team was interested in him.

If he is picked up, the claiming team would be responsible for half his remaining salary. Tampa Bay would pay the rest.

Tocchet indicated he was disappointed Krajicek did not improve after being unclaimed.

"There are plenty of stories of guys who are put on waivers and sat out a bunch of games or were traded a couple of times," Tocchet said. "All of a sudden, they see a light, and that's what you hope for from certain players. You try to send those messages."

HEDMAN RETURNS: D Victor Hedman was in the lineup after missing one game with a bruised left foot.

"Usually after 24 hours, the pain starts to decrease," the rookie said, "so it's good."

It was funny when Hedman said he hoped Tocchet would "pick" him to play, as if he was in a pickup game.

Tocchet said the decision was Hedman's because with no broken bones — Hedman said X-rays were negative — it was all about pain tolerance.

"If he can play, I'll play him," Tocchet said before the game. "We need his puck-moving ability. … He looked pretty good skating. He's a tough kid."

DOWNIE SITS: Steve Downie missed his second straight game, and Tocchet is no longer ruling out a concussion. The right wing smashed his forehead on the ice Tuesday when he slipped and fell while throwing a punch at Nashville's Shea Weber.

MORE INJURIES: D Matt Walker left in the first with a lower-body injury and did not return.

TOUGH SHIFT: Jeff Halpern apparently was hurt more substantially than first believed.

The team said the forward received 12 stitches Thursday after he was hit in the mouth by a puck. But Halpern confirmed he also needed a new bridge.

Halpern, who wore a cage Friday, said that on the same shift, he was bruised and cut above his left eye by the edge of his helmet when he was checked into the boards.

ODDS AND ENDS: The league's holiday roster freeze is today through Dec. 27. Players can be called up, but trades or demotions to the minors are prohibited. … Hedman turned 19 Friday. … D Matt Smaby was scratched.

Tampa Bay Lightning sends down disappointing Lukas Krajick 12/18/09 [Last modified: Saturday, December 19, 2009 5:05pm]
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